jueves, 19 de agosto de 2010

The Second year / El Segundo Año

This is the second year all in one!
Year 2 / El segundo año - May 2008- May 2009 1 year old to two years old. From his first birthday, things started to get more interesting from an output point of view. Below I explain both the input activities and his output in language divided into different periods during the year until his second birthday. I also make some reference to his catalan and Spanish.
A partir de los 12 meses las cosas se volvieron más interesantes desde el punto de vista del Output. A continuación, por períodos detallo las actividades (input) y su lenguaje verbal (output) A veces hago referencia al catalán o el castellano.

INPUT
YouTube nursery rhymes: Some were of Indian origin.
Simple to more ‘complex’ones:
Ba ba black sheep.
Hickory Dickory Dock
London bridge is falling down.
Other songs:
My bonnie lies over the ocean and ‘row row row the boat’ (also the first year with him sitting on me as a boat). They love doing the movements with these type of songs.
‘Twinkle Twinkle little star’ which may have spawned his obsession with stars! This song has remained a favourite.
Bob the Builder: song. “Big fish little fish, cardboard box”. Fascinated by the song and pictures. Can we fix it? Yes we can.
“Ring a ring a rosey” and dancing with him falling down.
He begins to repeat “Fall down”. And after 3-4months (1yr 3 months) “We all fall down”. His first (finite) complete sentence.

BOOKS.
Book with 6 objects in different colours:
Tractor, banana, apple, bath, orange,
Progressed from
1)getting him to identify the objects. Where’s the tractor?
2) Getting him to say the object. What’s this? - a tractor. Yes, IT’s a tractor, etc
3) The colours.
Introducing the colour: This is a green tractor ,What colour is it?
Then matching a blob with the colour of the object with the object from a set of 5 alternatives. This took a while. Little by little and with much repetition he learned to say the objects and finally use the colours as well. What colour’s the tractor? What’s this? It’s a green tractor.
(At 2 years and 7 months he took out the book one day and went through it saying all the objects with their colour and adding comments. It’s a blue bath with taps. Ooo, the water’s hot. Daddy touch the water! )
I can’t believe how useful such a simple book has been!  You get them to use it in more and more complex ways till they ‘grow out of them’.
Another great book was one with a Farm and music (based a bit on Old MacDonald). Each page has more and more animals and a voice that asks the child to find the matching animal on a cube and then put it in the slot on the right page. This integrates understanding a question, animals, counting and manipulating a shape and matching. It was great as a learning tool and attractive with its song (although a bit repetitive for an adult!). Interestingly, a 2 yr 11 months he picked it up again and went through each page correctly matching the animal to the correct page and then singing the song. Children will come back to and exploit books and songs, etc in different ways at different ages.

TV.
From Christmas 2008 (1 year and 5 months) he started to become more interested in children’s TV. CBeebies. Teletubbies, in the night garden, etc . Since this time he was gradually able to sit for longer and watch up to an hour or hour and a half once or twice a day. As I will mention later, this has been an invaluable supplement to his English.
Routines - don't underestimate the constant repetition and frequency you can build up through  doing the routines with the 'baby'.
Bath time and my showers.
We worked on the going down and gone referring to the disappearing water down the plughole.
Going to the playgroup ( a 5-minute walk) MEGA INTENSIVE LANGUAGE INPUT
Commented on the weather. What’s the weather like today? Look Marc, it’s sunny, cloudy, windy, wet, raining, etc.
Stopped to look in the motorcycle shop window to learn, boots, jacket, helmet, bag, etc
Commented on things happening. Look a red car. Look, a plane (which later became another favourite word).
Changing and dressing him. I always sing to him or put vocabulary in small tunes and melodies to make them more interesting and memorable. ‘Nice clean nappy,la la la la!”
I always sang: “I put my blue jeans on.” Others are up to you, but “We are the champions” by Queen, “Wake me up before you go go.”
I get him to comb his hair and rub the prongs and say ‘ coooommmb’ almost as an onomatopoeic word which fascinated him. The lesson here is to make words interesting and involve them in the activities as well as making routines a time to ‘teach’ the child.
THE SECRETS
This second year is probably the most important as you lay down the rules of language interaction with the child. Remember the two rules:
1) Never respond to any other language except English.
2) Make a sacrifice and immerse them in English - max the exposure through direct super interactive speaking to the child(ren) focussing on questions and describing behaviour and things happening around them. Remember, DON'T just be with them in silence. They'll never learn to speak English like that!! Try and spend at least two very language intensive  hours with them per day and as soon as they are interested in TV make sure they watch Cbeebies for a couple of hours when you're not there.
Their are differences between children, but if your child is 'normal' then if they don't end up speaking English to you, it's because you haven't followed those two basic rules. The system really does work.
You are to blame, not them.
OUTPUT  - when language appears
From 13 months he made clearer sounds and began to try and say ‘light’, which sounded like ‘laa’. This was his first obsession, pointing to all types of lights and lamps and saying the word which he eventually said in Catalan: ‘’Llum’ from about 14 months. Finally, on our Christmas visit to the UK in 2008 (6 months later 1 yr 7 months), he suddenly looked at a wall light and said: ‘Light’ and then hardly ever said ‘llum’ again. The moral here is never give up! They say certain words and pronounce them when they are ‘ready’, although the amount of exposure is an important variable to ensure this happens and never accept the ‘foreign’ word as acceptable to you.
I worked on” going” and “gone” at bath time and he started saying ‘gone’ from 14 months and then repeated it for anything that was missing: ’mummy’, ‘ball’.
Then “ball gone”. Then, near the end of the second year:’ the ball’s gone’
The next step was to use the possessive’s, which non-natives find so hard:
March 2009: 1 year 10 months
“Daddy’s cup” then ”Marc’s ball”, and then in ad finitum.
I used questions to elicit this: What’s this? Daddy’s cup / Mummy’s car / Marc’s bed
March 14th 2008.
Is it raining?
- Rain, no. It’s gone!
April – May 2009 1 year 11 months - 2 years
Introduced alternative sentences. E.g. instead of ‘bye bye’ I said ‘ see you later’, then see you later alligator’.
Phrases:
“I want / I like” - started to use them but confused the meaning. Used ‘don’t want’ without the subject. And sentences such as:
Not raining / not working/
Finished sentences:
It’s all gone (instead of all gone).
First use of past tense: Oh look it fell. (after repeating this to him hundreds of times). Still not bothering to get him to differentiate ‘drop/fell.
Corrected the pronunciation of:
“triangle’ that he pronounced “treeangle’ – We listened to James Blunt on Sesame Street singing a spoof version of his hit called ‘Triangle’ to ‘cure’ this.
He says ‘on’ but not ‘turn on’ for lights and I was trying to get him to turn on and off the lights saying” turn it on / turn it off’ He has sometimes said ‘open the light’ influenced from the Catalan, and even at 2 years 9 months he occasionally said it.
He’s started getting picky about songs on youtube and shouts ‘don’t want’ to which I replied:
Say: “I don’t want ‘row the boat’” which he attempted to repeat.

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