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Laloulah http://laloulah.com/index.php Teaching children to be bilingual en-US http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 mitschie matschie matschen
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http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/02/04/mitschie-matschie-matschen Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:52:24 +0000
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lalou
Languages 155@http://laloulah.com/ As we continue to watch 'Jonalu' as part of our German diet, it is interesting seeing the boys trying to engage with it. The stories are divided up into sections- with two or three songs interspersed throughout the episode. These songs are often repeated, so then it is easier to sing along. And they also have actions. Amazing how connected the body is- when you move your arms and legs, somehow it becomes easier to mimic and remember strange words. But the boys are really experimenting with the sounds of German. Like the 18 month old who approximates the sounds that they hear every day and come out with 'toddler talk'. I find this is happening to the boys. They are pronouncing the sounds correctly, and they make up words that 'Sound German'. But are really in that pre-verbal stage. Maybe I'll wake up one morning and they'll have gone native!<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/02/04/mitschie-matschie-matschen">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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and here comes the slump http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/29/and-here-comes-the-slump Wed, 29 Jan 2014 20:54:31 +0000 lalou Languages 154@http://laloulah.com/ Like the old adage- what goes up, must come down. We had the triumph of my last post where my youngest said that French was a part of his brain. And then, last week as I was trying to finalise plans for my return to work, he declared he didn't want to learn anymore French adn German. And when it looked like he would have to accompany me to a French club as a student while I taught,(more on that later in the week) he really wasn't impressed. So, we just bumble along, making things up as we go. He refused to watch German TV one morning, but realised that his brother would then watch more TV than him and as it was his choice (which I pointed out to him) he couldn't say it was unfair. "Oh al...RIGHT" he moaned while I said yay! inside. Sneaky Mummy.<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/29/and-here-comes-the-slump">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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big day for trilingualism in our family http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/24/big-day-for-trilingualism-in-our-family Fri, 24 Jan 2014 06:52:02 +0000 lalou Languages 153@http://laloulah.com/ We were getting ready to go out and as he was putting his shoes on, my youngest stunned me with this statement. "Mum, you know how there are separate folders on our computer, with different names?" I replied that I did. He continued, "Well, when you speak in French to me, it's like I go that folder and open it, and then there's French in my brain." Can you believe it? Can you honestly believe it? I was blown over. He had explained so clearly and succinctly, in his five year old way, how his brain accesses the different parts of itself. And to have enough French IN his brain to have its own folder! What a joy! What a triumph! I am still pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming.<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/24/big-day-for-trilingualism-in-our-family">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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Jonalu http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/22/jonalu Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:12:44 +0000 lalou Languages 152@http://laloulah.com/ Jonalu is a German TV show I have known about for a while, but the kids have never seemed interested. SO we started off this morning with the usual "Igam Ogam" clip. This morning was "Das ist komisch" (that's funny/strange) and the boys had a good laugh with Papasaurus and his incredible snoring. Then they noticed a robot in the thumbnails on the side and they desperately wanted to see that. So I let them. I'm glad I did! Jonalu incorporates actions and singing and because it was all about a robot that goes silly, it held the boys attention for the entire 24 minutes. M even picked up the word "Noch mals" that we have seen in Igam Ogam before. How exciting was that! But even more exciting, there is a character called Scottie in the program. He is a spider who speaks English, and the mice translate for him into German! The boys were rapt. When they went off to play lego afterwards they were talking about the linguistic skills of their robbers. They decided two would speak German, two would speak French and two speak English! Love it!<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/22/jonalu">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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Was sind deine Hobbys? http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/21/was-sind-deine-hobbys Tue, 21 Jan 2014 21:06:49 +0000 lalou Languages 151@http://laloulah.com/ We were having dinner tonight and generally mucking around with language as we do. Suddenly, my eldest came out with "deine Hobbys". Absolutely no idea where he got that from. But I rushed to capitalise on it. I repeated, "Deine Hobbys. Was sind Deine Hobbys?" (Your hobbies. What are your hobbies?) Then I mimed some words - lesen (reading) schlafen (sleeping) and schwimmen (swimming). The boys guessed these easily. They then made the suggestion of what I don't like to do. So I taught them, "Was magst du nicht?" (What don't you like) And I came up with laufen (running) and Haifische (sharks). The boys were able to repeat the structures beautifully and really enjoyed guessing the words. And it all stemmed so naturally from what they were interested in at the time. Good one!<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/21/was-sind-deine-hobbys">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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language in context http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/20/language-in-context Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:25:14 +0000 lalou Languages 150@http://laloulah.com/ We've just been away at the beach for a week. It was a real Aussie getaway- with sun, sand and surf. Our family had a great time. We loved our beach unit and spent our days jumping off jetties, going down toboggan runs and water sliding in the dark! So I was surprised that the boys continued to address me in German, and sing German songs. They are really putting their language into context now. My eldest was at the pool and he wanted me to come nearer. So he yelled out, "Mama! Komme runter!" and then he added, "Max muss kacken!" Gee I was glad no one had a clue what he was saying.<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/20/language-in-context">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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Why, Mum? Why? http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/08/why-mum-why Wed, 08 Jan 2014 19:08:00 +0000 lalou Languages 149@http://laloulah.com/ My youngest is peppering me with questions at the moment. Why do you want us to learn French and German, Mum? Well, the good old UN and trade relations just doesn't seem to cut it with a 5 year old. Because it's fun, I say. And you will be able to speak to people in their language when you travel. He went quiet, and my answer didn't seem to sound convincing, even to my ears. Why do I want them to be able to speak French and German? Well, it IS fun, and you can get a lot out of it. But it is also frustrating, boring and plain hard work sometimes. And what if, at the end of this experiment, all they can say is Bonjour and a couple of words anyway? I spoke to a school mum today whose son is bilingual. He speaks Portuguese and English. She is going to start driving him to the other side of town this year to attend a Portuguese class to help him with his writing. He can speak it fluently,(both parents are Brazilian) she just wants him to be able to write it too. That is just full-scale commitment, to my mind. Can You Tube clips once a week compete with that? Lalou<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/08/why-mum-why">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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Mum, what if...? http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/03/mum-what-if Fri, 03 Jan 2014 07:21:34 +0000 lalou Languages 148@http://laloulah.com/ These were the tantalizing words my eldest started his question with a few days ago.They were followed by the words that every bilingual mum would love to hear. "What if we spoke German all the time at home?" As you know, I've been concentrating on reading and singing and viewing video clips in both French and German for years now. But every time I have wanted to go the whole hog and speak in the language to them, it just hasn't worked. Either the kids have shrieked, "Speak English!" or I just haven't known where to start. Well, after a very stable year where both kids have just flourished at school and preschool and finding ourselves at home mostly over the summer and wondering what to do with them, my eldest's question was just the trigger I needed. So I replied, "How would we do it?" Because I really want to involve them in the process and not make them feel like language is being pushed onto them. M replied, "You say words and then we copy them?" and he added to this, "And we play that game where you mime an action or point to something and we have to guess what it is in English." This guy was just pumping out the ideas! Then my eyes flew to the trusty oven buzzer that I use for my sanity in daily life...20 minutes outside time! Wait for the buzzer! 30 minutes rest time on the clock! Go!...15 minutes Mummy and Daddy time...Starting now! etc and I said, "Why don't we do 5 minutes speaking where Mummy only speaks German and no English?" They were Ok with that. "Yeah!" both M and A replied. And then it just sort of flowed from there. The minute I had restricted ourselves time wise, I was already thinking about how to extend those 5 minutes. And I suggested a "Rheinfolge" or order of things. What about if we watched a short clip, sang some songs together, and then played a game? That was very OK. So that is what we did. I put my Swiss lanyard back on - the magic one where I can only speak German. We sat down to watch 'Igam Ogam', a current fave. There were a few dicey minutes when the title showed up on the screen, "Noch mal" (again). "What does that mean?" asked the kids. I couldn't say it in English so I had to mime it. No joy. I tried again. The kids were getting frustrated, my whole hopes for the session were going to pot. Finally I hit upon a solution. I grabbed my trusty Oxford German Dictionary and looked up the word (the kids are very used to me doing this) and then pointed to it and showed M. He wasn't quite sure but finally read the word 'again' and it was backed up by A, "again!" They were both very pleased with themselves. They then settled back for some great viewing time. The songs they recognised from when they've done them before and it was like greeting old friends. "Oh, I know this one!" Then the game was hilarious. They were able to guess my actions no problem. And the flashcards on the ground involved a little bit of der, die ,das work and memory. A had a flash of inspiration upon seeing "Schnecke" and ran into his room to grab a book. He opened it to a page and pointed to a "Schnecke" on wheels. "Super Schnecke!" he said. I was loving it. I also went with him and spoke a little bit about some of the other things on the page and then brought them gently back to the cards. Then I kept going with daily routine- "Zaehneputzen dann sich ankleiden, dann ein Buch auf Deutsch lesen." So after a few goes and lots of mime they got it and went merrily on their way. But by that time I was exhausted and felt they were ebbing in their energy- so I decided after they'd finished getting ready for the day that we would skip the book reading. "But you said..." asked M. Well- here was a chance to praise his comprehension! "Yes, I know I said we would read a book, but I've changed my mind" Then both boys decided to play hotels for the next little while and the role-playing got quite involved. Throughout the day they would sing snatches of song or yell out German words and by the end of the day they were trying to put words together in a sentence- which kind of came out as a silly mish mash of everything, but showed me how their little brains were working over time. We did a shortened version in French during the afternoon. We watched "T'choupi" and "Toupie et Binou" but they are just not the same in terms of repeating the words ad infinitum like "Igam Ogam" Will have to go on a search! Then I read a couple of books in French- but my mouth couldn't form the words and I had trouble reading the speech bubbles fluently. I could have been tired or there may have been some interference. Who knows? But all in all, a successful language day!<div class="item_footer"><p><small><a href="http://laloulah.com/index.php/2014/01/03/mum-what-if">Original post</a> blogged on <a href="http://b2evolution.net/">b2evolution</a>.</small></p></div>

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