November 2009 of James 5.5, Sydney nearly 8 years
November 1, 2009
James love (obsession?) for numbers has been interesting. He's now slowly getting less frustrated with using numbers in Portuguese. He used to get so angry when he didn't understand and he's ask me to say it in English. Now, he still confirms that he's got it right, if I say a number in Portuguese:
Christine: Cento e vinte-seis James: Cento e twenty six Christine: Sim, Cento e vinte-seis
Sydney doesn't care as much, although she's super into math. I'm so glad to see her interested in math and science. I'm thinking this new generation will not have the women hate math ideas we've had in the past.
November 2, 2009
We've tried more reading in Portuguese. Sydney still loves to do the big flashcards we did a year or so ago and went to get some out. I would ask them to say the name of each letter first, then say the word. What's interesting to me is that the letter names in Portuguese link to their sounds much more easily than in English. The vowels are still tough b/c the letter "i" for example is called "ee" and the letter "e" is called "short e" as in "bet". The letter "a" is easy because I'll say "a" of "abc". "j" and "g" are tough too because the sounds are counter to English. I'll now say "g" of "garota".
November 3, 2009
Sydney was thrilled to say the alphabet in French. We discussed how leters like "y" sound similar in French and Portuguese. She also seems really proud to speak another language. Her teacher told me as much. She (Sydney's teacher) said that when asked who speaks a second language, Sydney raised her hand and indicated with a flat hand wavering "so-so" or "sort of". When Sydney told me about this, she explained that she doesn't know which is her first language since she learned them together.
Her teacher, Ms. Medina is Cuban and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She was so encouraging about bilingualism. I was so ready for her to say something that went against current research ("don't teach her to read in Portuguese until she can read in English" for example) but it was nothing but praise and "keep at it!"
Ms Medina read a book in Spanish to the kids yesterday-- one from Cuba. I asked Sydney is she liked it and she said that had she understood a word it said, she would have probably liked it. So it sounds like Spanish isn't just coming easily to her.