Monday, 2 September 2013

Back on the blogging horse

Wow, has it really been nearly five months since I wrote anything here on my beloved blog. Seriously, I can't believe it. Life has been a total whirlwind with my feet very rarely touching the floor for long enough for me to keep on top of everyday life, let alone indulge in the luxury of writing a blog post.

The last few times I wrote, I was most definitely feeling unsure as to whether I wanted to carry on speaking French with Poppette and Little Man. Knowing we were due a family holiday to France this August, however, I told myself that I would be a fool to stop before then as I ought at the very least give my children the opportunity to explore what they know (and, of course, show me and hopefully nip all my fears in the bud) whilst totally immersed.

I was right to wait.

Whoever spoke to Poppette, in what ever environment, be it in the local supermarket or pharmacy, the ticket lady on the merry-go-round, our French friends, our next door neighbours, she understood and spoke back to them. It was a crazy feeling to realise that my daughter (who will be 3 years old in less then two month's time) really speaks French and that, had I not pushed myself through the doubting and spoken to to her in French all this time, we would have arrived on holiday and she would have understood 'rien'! Likewise, for Little Man (now 17 months old) who, although he still only has a few French words in his spoken vocabulary, clearly understands French when it is spoken to him.

The holiday was amazing on many levels - I mean, put me in France and watch me float - just being there makes me happy. But to watch my children just fall into being a part of it all. Wow! Watching them play in French with our friends' two little boys (who are French and also French/ English bilinguals) was just brilliant... The game un, deux, trois soleil for one really seems to have stuck with both Poppette and Little Man who still cover their eyes every time they hear the words. Also, our friends spoke only French with my little ones which was priceless.

One day whilst in France, Poppette came to me and said "Maman, je veux manger" [Mummy, I would like something to eat] - until that point, she had always said "Maman, I want manger" so, in my eyes this was a huuuuge step..... the minority language immersion environment helped push the majority language out.

She's gone right back to saying "Maman, I want manger", now were home, but at least I know now that there are words in her head just waiting for the right opportunity to come back out and that this will be just the same with Little Man.

It's back to that old chestnut of just having faith. Believe it will work and it will. Keep working towards your goal. It's not always easy (far from it, at times, to be honest!!) but.... well, the proof is in the pudding.


23 comments:

  1. Told you! So glad it's working out now! :-)

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    1. Hey you - Yay ! Thanks for your never failing support.

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  2. Yes, it has been a while! ;) Just kidding...we all have to have our unplanned sabbaticals sometimes.
    What a remarkable experience for your children to have at such a young age. You seem to be doing a wonderful job in keeping your children exposed to and involved in their languages.
    Amy @ http://giftedgabber.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello and thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement

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  3. Hello there,

    I've just discovered your blog. I am glad that everything seems to be fine and that your doubts have vanished.

    I think your daughter just needed a trigger to speak French more often. This trip to France was definitely one as she had the opportunity to play with other bilingual children!

    You have a lot to be proud of and you're doing great so don't give up, I'm sure your children (especially your daughter) are very happy to understand and speak French.

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    1. Hi Judith

      Thanks for your support. You know, i think you're right that my children love to speak french as, even though i haven't been giving them the 100% opol input over recent months (but theres the content of a whole new post lol) they still mix french in with their English in every sentence they speak with me...we are not at a stage where they speak full french sentences but as i understand it from other friends with bilingual children i should be grateful that they actually want to use french words at all instead of just sticking with the majority language...and i am...very grateful... they reignite my love of the french language every day :-)

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  4. I'm so happy the holiday in France worked out so good for you guys!

    I just saw this app gone free today - and I thought of you - surely you will use it one day :)

    Dictée Montessori / French words for Kids is free today !
    https://itunes.apple.com/fr/app/french-words-for-kids-hd-learn/id396224808

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    1. Hi Adina

      thanks so much... i will take a look. I really appreciate that you drop me a line with resources its so thoughtful! How are you guys doing?

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  5. After my twins were born, I couldn't have time to do much blogging for an entire whole year. So I understand. Sometimes you got to do what got to be done.

    I added your site to my "link" page (http://www.best4future.com/blog/links) so that I can find a way back to visit. Keep in touch!

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    1. Hi Lina...i have a friend who was looking for mandarin resources recently and directed her to your blog - she loves it :-)

      you're right... it can be sooooo hard to find time to do the essentials some days with work and two little whirlwinds lol never mind finding time to blog...but am hoping to get back in the saddle

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  6. This is SO great to hear, Maman! How exciting, and NICE job for sticking with it, esp. through to France. I know EXACtly what you mean when you feel like giving up...I had a number of those moments about 6 months ago, wanting to start speaking English on the weekends. We'll see how it all turns out, but the faith piece, and the one day at a time thing...they DEF. make a huge difference, huh?!

    I took the same hiatus that you did, in part, and it's fun to know that we're on the same path so to speak...still! =)
    xo from Portland,
    Tamara

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    1. Hallo

      wie geht's?

      I have a blog post bubbling Tamara..... I just need to sit down and get typing lol have just whizzed over to your blog..hope to see you back at your keyboard too soon :-)

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  7. I've recently discovered your blog and wanted to say thank you! Please don't stop blogging! I made the scary decision to attempt to raise my now 4 month old twins as bilingual (French and English) when I have only basic French; I thought I was the only person crazy enough to attempt this so much so that I was too scared to even tell anyone else! However, your blog has taught me so much, rejuvenated my passion and reaffirmed my reasons for wanting to do this for my children. Thank you!

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    1. Hi there and thank you for getting in touch. Hearign your excitment and passion is a real motivator for me. I think i would really benefit from going back to the beginning and reading all of my own posts :-) It's a while since i have had the time to come back and tend to my blog and connect with like minded people and I feel it. I hope to be able to come by here more often and start posting again more regularly. Do keep in touch and let me know how you are getting along.

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  8. Hi there, LOVE your blog. Thanks for sharing your adventure. I'm also an American and I'm raising (some of them are already raised) my 8 kids bilingually in German and English. I just barely started my blog. Would you mind linking to me. I will put a link to yours as well. Here's my address: http://nonnativebilingualparents.blogspot.com/
    Thanks!! Merci!

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    1. Hi Nina thanks for coming over to say hi. Your story is insopiring and i will follow with interest. I've added you to my blogroll - do keep in touch.

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  9. I love this blog! I've just read (and copied) the crib sheet, and your post with 5 tips - I was glad to see the 'feeling self-concious' part, to see that I wasn't alone. :)
    Actually I'm not a parent but an aunt, and I've made the decision to speak only French to my (currently 9 month old) nephew. I began the other day, and it did feel odd that people were looking on and presumably assuming that he has a French parent or some other functional reason why I'd be speaking to him in French. My French is pretty patchy but as you've described here on your blog, I'm hoping to keep improving and stay ahead of the game. I've certainly been learning myself while collecting comptines and various information...
    By the way, if you know anyone near the Hackney/East London area, I would love to get the CouCou group in Dalston restarted, but have so far failed to make contact with anyone else who'd like to help. (I can't do it single-handedly, as I don't live in London, but Reading - I'll be looking after my nephew in Dalston, though, 3 days per month). I guess my next step will be to put up a notice in Dalston library and see if anyone gets back to me.

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    1. Hi H

      Thanks for getting in touch. I think its amazing that you are planning on doing this for your nephew. Really really amazing. and i'm happy to be along for the ride and support you as and where i can. I have put my feelers out for poeple in East London who may be interested in a resurrection of Coucou and will let you know if i get any takers. I know it was a popular and really well enjoyed club. it does make a huge difference having an accessible local place where children can play with other children in their minority language.

      Do keep in touch :-)

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    2. Also for the Resources page - I don't know how long these will stay up, but someone has posted lots of episodes of 'Les Moomins' (the Japanese animation, but with French soundtrack) to Youtube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2nhgdyOL-Q

      x Tatie Hélène :)

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    3. Hey Tatie Hélène thanks for the recommendation - I've found them and Poppette really seems to like them :-)

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  11. Hi, nice to hear from you, Bonne Maman!
    By the way, an erratum for the resources page - I got a copy of 'Maisy - Animals' and my copy *doesn't* have any language other than English. Which is odd as it looks as though it's from the same series as the 'Maisy - Fun in the Sun' which I also bought and which does have seven language options! I guess one just has to ask the vendor to check the cover and see.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know. That's really odd as a friend of mine has that DVD and hers does have a French option... I don't think some vendors are that great at specifying language options are they so asking them the question, as you say, is probably the wisest option.

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