As our family is today, German is the language that has strong allies on its side: the German-speaking environment and the professional consistency of school. To add to that, Maggie’s friends are mainly German-speaking. And the cherry on top is the fact that Maggie is not only enjoying and prospering in this educational system but has also obtained great confidence with her German language development. So she uses it. Proudly. Daily.
And as Nicholas grows older they might even change their preferred language of communication, from English to German.
This is something that we noticed had happened to us, the Loras sisters.
Growing up in Canada we communicated with each other in English. Then moving to Greece, we preferred Greek as teenagers. Becoming adults and working in our own English school all day with other English teachers, we returned to our initial English-speaking family code. Now, in Switzerland, English is used as strongly as if we were in Canada by Vicky and myself. But we communicate in Greek with our younger sister, Christine who still lives in Greece. She, too, being an English teacher, though!
What I have noticed is that:
* Maggie has always used English when playing alone; recently, at a lower percentage but it has made its bold occurrence, sometimes plays alone in German, as well.
* Nicholas plays alone in English only for the time being.
* Together they play only in English.
* They have never played together in Greek.
* Maggie has never played alone in Greek.
* However, both she and Nicholas have no problem playing in Greek if a Greek speaking person is involved like their father, their giagia, my younger sister or anyone else when we visit Greece.
* While speaking in Greek or German specifically, Maggie may encounter unknown words. I have noticed that English is her main language foundation and based on that she learns the Greek or German equivalent.
* They can both sing songs in all three languages but also in unknown to them languages with great ease… A few days ago, Maggie taught Nicholas the chorus of a song and then they both sang it to me and for me:
” Mamacita mamacita buena…” . I am still laughing!
Speaking of songs, for children though, Feat No 7 will disclose why I consider them miracle makers when teaching the English language, or any language for that matter. Both to our children and our students.
Thank you and feel free to enjoy the song.