When I initially started this blog I thought it would be primarily focused on my son’s multi-lingual language acquisition. Little did I know that I was in for a much more intense experience as we encountered an actual speech delay. I’d like to share my experience not only as a written journal for myself, but for any other parents out there going through a similar scenario. Bear in mind, every family will approach this differently and you may disagree with me. But I think some parents will find reassurance in our story. I know I did while reading the accounts of other parents with late-talking children. I’ll try to summarize the whirlwind of what’s happened during the last several months into three sections: Early Intervention, Speech Therapy, and Where We are Now. Continue reading “My Late-Talking, Bilingual Child: Early Intervention and Speech Therapy”
The Decision to Seek Evaluation
My son just turned two. He is bright, curious, and an expert at nonverbal communication.
His second birthday meant a checkup at the doctor, and an assessment of his developmental milestones. When we got to speech, I knew what was coming. You see, he still only has a handful of words, mostly monosyllable nouns.
A speech delay. Despite my obsession with his language acquisition, I am trying to remain calm so as not to pass on any anxiety to my sweet boy. People’s reactions tend to lean toward consolation, “Lots of kids go through delays like this, then they never stop talking!” Also, “If his comprehension is good then that’s what’s more important.” These are true, but then there is also the inevitable, “Well he’s learning two languages, right? It’s probably that.” Maybe it is a factor, but there’s actually no solid evidence that links bilingual language acquisition with a speech delay. Continue reading “Delayed Speech in a Bilingual Toddler”
Using Two Languages
He has picked up several new words since my last post three months ago, and his receptive abilities continue to grow. His first word apart from “Baba” (Dad) and “Mama” (which he responds to but uses only on occasion) was “clock.” I watched with delight as he pointed to the clock on the wall, then the picture in his book, made the connection and uttered “cwaaak.” Now he sees clocks everywhere, pointing them out as he goes.
He’s also picked up Turkish “orada” as well as the English version, “over there” which he uses interchangeably. He also says Turkish “burada” (here), which he does not say in English. Continue reading “Small Stepping Stones in Two Languages”
Fifteen months is an exciting time for parents and their little ones. In our house, we watch as our son has started to understand simple commands: “Can you throw this in the garbage?” “Can you put your toy back in here?” – and still debate over whether he has actually repeated words back to us in each respective language. This month, there’s three languages at play: English, Turkish, and Korean.
While for the past six months, his predominant language heard at home as been Turkish, this has changed for the last three weeks. Normally, he gets English only when I am home in the morning, evening and weekends, while his caretaker speaks only Turkish and his multimedia viewing is also only in Turkish. My mother has stepped in to watch him for one month, and thus, he has been inundated with more English and some sprinkling of Korean. Continue reading “15 Months In and Not a Word Too Soon”
How old will my son be before he speaks? Will his multilingual upbringing delay his speech production?
These are the worries of a multilingual household.
As my son approaches the 1-year-mark, I am increasingly more aware of the multilingual setting we are providing him at home. Our first child, we watch with bated breath when it seems he’s muttered a word.
Did he say ‘Baba’ (Dad)? Did he say ‘Mama’? Did he just say ‘hi’? Did he just say ‘gel’ (Come)?
No. He did not. Not yet. Continue reading “Great Expectations: Setting the Environment for Multilingualism”
One of the gifts I had received during my baby shower was “The Read-Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease. It was a gift from my aunt, she didn’t make a big deal out of it, just gave me the book and a package of sticky page-markers.
I didn’t start reading it until this month, and I wish I had started it sooner. It really ties together all of the theories and anecdotes I’ve seen about language development in articles, books, radio and TV stories. Reading aloud to children is critical to a child’s interest in reading and later academic success, but it is also an enormous influence in a child’s language acquisition.
Ever heard of the “language gap” or “word gap” in children from different socioeconomic backgrounds? There’s quite a lot that can be said by it. Continue reading “Love of Reading, Love of Language”