Feat 20: Nicholas the German Language Fan… without actually knowing German

Multilingual Nicholas, from scratch, is now four years old.

While:

    Understanding and speaking English wonderfully well,

    understanding Greek surprisingly well and speaking it less fluently than English and

    obviously understanding German (both High and Swiss) but not speaking more than a few words,

Nicholas just loves German! And it is not that he does not like the other two languages, but whenever it is German Day on our audiovisual calendar, he cheers and expresses himself with such joy that one would not expect him to be the least fluent of all in this specific language.

He has been attending a Swiss playgroup for almost two years now for three hours a day, four days a week. He feels very comfortable there since Day One. Since the day, that is, that he did not understand or speak a word of German. A big part of this adjustment is due to Nicholas’ fantastic and experienced teacher, Prisca. The whole setup of her playschool and the activities she shares with the children are just beautiful and just right.

Nicholas, just like Maggie, has been exposed to all those media and experiences, methods and consistency, encouragement and efforts that we have been using all these years both at home and at our language schools.

He is at an age that he can productively and smoothly participate in our educational fun events at The Loras Network. He has a constantly growing interest in books and lately audio books. And he just loves German. His reaction towards a language that is new to our family, is such great news to us. Maybe even greater than actually hearing a new German word being pronounced by him. This attitude to his multilingual upbringing is so healthy that I am even more encouraged and consistent in the steps and decisions I make as a parent and teacher than ever before.

Nicholas’ spoken German words may still be very few but there is no doubt in my mind that, just like Maggie (and the comparison is in an encouraging and not mimicking way) he will maintain a progressive language journey. His own language journey.

Last week, I went to pick him up from his playgroup and one of his classmates asked him something in Swiss German. Nicholas seemed to immediately understand and gave a short response with a Swiss accent. Then turned back to me and in a Canadian accent (with a heavy R) went on in English about all he could remember concerning his day.

And even though I have been through all this before, as a mother and a teacher, it is still such a pleasant surprise to me. I am still astonished by the progress. I am still stunned by witnessing these gifts of my life and my profession unravel before me.

It’s like Christmas to me … So often!

Thank you very much.

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6 thoughts on “Feat 20: Nicholas the German Language Fan… without actually knowing German

  1. chrissy lalos November 12, 2013 at 21:23 Reply

    Bravo nicholas 🙂 yeah

    • Eugenia Loras November 14, 2013 at 21:49 Reply

      Thank you, Chrissie! And congratulations to you and your family too for raising Akis bilingually!

  2. osmanaz November 12, 2013 at 22:12 Reply

    Kids are fascinating when it comes to learning any language and using them!

  3. Chris Stanzer November 14, 2013 at 16:54 Reply

    I’m sure his desire to speak German will grow and grow. I still remember my son’s first day at school here in Germany. He could speak German by then but the bigger boys had rounded on him in the break chanting ‘Say something in English! Say something in English!’ and he came home in tears crying ‘I just want to be the same as the others)

  4. Eugenia Loras November 14, 2013 at 21:51 Reply

    Thank you for sharing that with us Chris and thank you for your encouragement, too!

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