Saturday, October 20, 2007

What's that? What's that?

It’s been several months now that Ladybug has hammered us with the “what’s that?” question a gazillion times a day.

“What’s that?” Ladybug asks, pointing at the ceiling light.

“What’s that?” she’ll question, putting her hand on the wall.

“What’s that?” she ponders out loud as she waves at the sky.

For some reason, we haven’t tired of it. Maybe it’s because we answer her each time. Maybe it’s because every once in a while she’ll surprise us by answering her own question.

Nonetheless, we’ve tried to mix the Q&A sessions up a bit, responding in English one time and French the next. That practice has resulted in Ladybug being able to follow simple directions in both languages.

But it has also produced some odd word combinations and mix-ups. One day she’ll master the French word for shoes and socks – chaussures and chaussettes – followed by perfection in English, only to butcher it on the third try with shooza and shoozette. Somewhere along the way, cheese has become deeda, although it couldn’t be further from the French word of fromage. Body parts have been the hardest for her to pronounce. Nose is noise. Arm is ahm. Knee is hiney. So far, extremities are nonexistent in French.

By making my husband’s native language a part of Ladybug’s day, we’re hoping French fluency will come naturally for her. Starting young while whatever part of her brain that learns language is still flexible and highly open to the suggestion is the key -- one that will hopefully unlock many opportunities for her in the future.

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