Sunday, August 30, 2009

In English

From the moment she was born, I have made sure Amelia has been exposed to the Spanish language. My first words to her were in my "mother tongue". Her baby sitter from day one doesn't speak English. Even my English speaking husband talks to our daughter in Spanish.

So after 22 and half months of total Espanol immersion, Amelia answers in English.
"Amelia quieres mas?"
"Amelia tienes frio?"
"Amelia vamonos"
" Alright, here we go!"
"Mama, wait"

My friend Kate who is a Speech Pathologist says this is normal. Babies pick the easiest word to say. Case in point: she says "agua" because it's easier to pronounce than "water". I assume that each kid is different, since I find "mas" a lot easier to pronounce than "more".

I have to admit that my brain plays tricks on me and I find myself switching to English when she answers in that language, but I immediately correct it. I am working my hardest to make sure she learns my language. The question is, where is she hearing all this English?

Well, I figured it out.
It's ironically Dora and Diego's fault. The two latino cartoon heroes have brought the language into our house full time. Spanish is sprinkled through out the show, but Dora and Diego speak predominantly English. Since she watches them all the time, they have become her ESL teachers. I do have to thank Diego for teaching her "sube" since I found that "arriba" was harder to pronounce than up.

What gives me piece of mind is that Amelia seems to understand both languages. I guess she's just not really sure when to speak them. Hence, when we go to Gymboree and her teacher asks her
"Amelia, do you want to sing and dance?"
She answers with a resounding "Siiiiiii!"
Thank you God. Ay Mama!

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