Saturday, January 26, 2013

The 3 year old : Language Development

3 years 1 month

She now speaks mandarin to me and French to her daddy.
However, we got some alert from the after school sitter.
Apparently she didn't talk much, and several times she went to the corridor, just standing there until someone comes looking for her. One evening I went to pick her up and I asked her to say good evening to the sitter. When she said that, the sitter claimed that it was the first word she heard from Aelig since she entered the after school room.

And, her daddy was worried because she still couldn't have a simply conversation with him. It would go like this:

Daddy: How was school today?
Aelig : How was school today?
Daddy: Did you play with M?
Aelig: Did you play with M?
Daddy: What did you eat at the canteen?
Aelig just continued to play with her stuff and ignored him.

 But, when she is with me, she becomes a chatty box, not necessary answering my questions, but inventing stories. Example:

Aelig: My lamb is hungry, I need to go get her some grass.
Me: Oh really?
Aelig: Yes, she is hungry, just like the horse. (She fed horses during our Christmas holiday).
Me: Ok, let's us go grab some grass then.
Aelig: Did you hear it? It sounds like the fox is nearby! He is going to come get the grass! (ok, scene in Dora Explorator)
Me: Ok, we need to stop him.
Aelig: Oh no, the wolf has eaten all the grasses.
Me: Nevermind,  there are plenty of grasses around our apartment.
Aelig: I don't like fox and wolf, they are bad, they want to eat my lamb.
Me: Don't worry, when they come, we will just say "swiper, no swiping!".
We will probably need to talk to her teacher to see if she copes well during classes.
Oh is it just normal that at 3 years old she doesn't know how to describe what happened during the day at school?


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  2. In our experience it is hard at this age to get them to describe their day at school.
    Not for lack of language skills but rather for a lack of memory.
    So they either don't answer or make things up or bring back something they did another day.
    After all this is an age where they are still struggling with most notions of time like when is yesterday, today or tomorrow.
    Often they will say things like "Yesterday I will choose this cereal for breakfast" or "Later when I will be a baby,..."

    So without this notions it is hard for their memory to sort out exactly what happened when.

  3. Since she speaks to you in Mandarin, did she use Mandarin to tell you her story about the lamb, fox and wolf?

    Does she tell stories to her father in French?

    Perhaps she likes speaking in Mandarin more than in French.

  4. No need to worry as long as she manages to speaks to you in mandarin .

    It's just that she needs more time to speak french because she may not know enough french vocabulary

    I have come through the same thing with my 2 boys ...Now that they are older , they are more fluent in french than in Vietnamese .

  5. Jem,

    Thanks for sharing. I imagine it would be tough to have to listen to 5 girls speaking at the same time. :-)

    Yes she told me that story in Mandarin. She tells less story to her father maybe because she knows less vocabularies in French.


    Thanks for sharing. :-)

  6. I have heard that when children are learning two languages at once, they tend to start speaking later. I wouldn't worry about her quite yet!

  7. here's an article i've just read and i thought i must share it with you:

  8. Anonymous7:38 AM

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