Thursday, January 19, 2006

My toddler's literacy

Bilingualism in action
Yesterday Helena was excited to be returning to daycare. She swipes her hand across her forehead and confirms, "Ma fièvre est broké." She stammers a bit and corrects herself. "Broké, broke. Ma fièvre broke. Brisée. Ma fièvre est brisée." The fever broke. J-F confirms that it's not a proper French expression, but a Québecois would understand it.

The making of a reader
It seems that, at long last, Helena is taking to books. Over the last few days of illness: one night she nudges me awake, a pile of books in her hand, asking me to read to her; another night I find her crouched by her bookshelf, thumbing through the stacks to make a selection before making the request of me. I oblige. Because she's sick, and it's books! Reading aloud at 3 a.m. is difficult — I'm half asleep and it's Dr Seuss. I'll have to work on modifying this new habit of hers. But I'm overjoyed that she gets it: the comfort and solace of books!


Diana said...

I could get inside her head as she moved from the French to the English and then ended up with the hybrid. Lovely.

Seeking Clarity

patricia said...

What a joyous moment!

I wonder what it is inside a person that suddenly connects them to books and reading. It does not necessarily always happen when one is a young child. I have met people who did not 'get into' reading until they were teenagers or adults.

Pearl said...

Cool language learnig anecdote.

Julie said...

Yeah, Patricia's comment is so true. And why do some people, sadly, never get into reading?

My daughter (6yo) has become quite a little bookworm since she learned to read last year, and sharing that with her is truly one of the great joys of my life. How wonderful that your daughter is "getting it" too.

Danielle said...

I love the language story (and very cool she is getting into books). My niece began by speaking spanish, and is now learning english, and she does the same sort of thing--a combination of the two languages to get her message across--maybe not completely correct in either language, but we all understand her.