Small Stepping Stones in Two Languages

bilingualbabyMy son is now 21 months old. He’s still not speaking. Not really anyway. He’s “behind” on his spoken language development, but it is definitely happening.

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”

15 Months In and Not a Word Too Soon

mothernbabyFifteen 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”

The LAD in Overdrive

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3 languages. 1 baby. 

My son, ¼ Korean, ¼ American Caucasian, and ½ Turkish, was for the first time exposed to three languages in one setting. With my parents in town to visit and my mother-in-law still staying with us, he had his two grandmothers and his mommy, all looking over him and talking our sweet baby talk in English, Korean and Turkish.

He responds with his gurgles and coos – spoken in the universal language of uber-cute. Continue reading “The LAD in Overdrive”

Residual Acquisition from ‘Motherly’ Love

ImageGrandmothers & Mother Tongues

I felt so accomplished last week.

Prior to the birth of my son in October, I was studying Korean (my mother’s native language), and Turkish (my husband’s native language). I made some progress in both areas, but I was admittedly taking on a bit more than I could chew by studying both at the same time while also working, teaching English, and growing a human in my belly.

After my son came, I didn’t have time for classes or to study on my own. However, my mother came to stay with me for just about two months. She, who always speaks English to me, was singing and speaking to my son in Korean. We also spent HOURS watching K-dramas at the end of my pregnancy, and in the wee-morning hours after he arrived. Suddenly, I was moderately immersed in Korean. Continue reading “Residual Acquisition from ‘Motherly’ Love”