Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Second language. 101

Children are like sponges; they soak up information at a sensational pace. 

Before we left Australia, it was under great debate how long would it take before the girls would be fluent.  I find it interesting that until they started school, even though Ricky and I were doing our best to speak Spanish to them they had picked up virtually none.  After only 2 months of school Indiana is well on her way to rapid fire Chilean.

I believe the optimal time to learn another language at school is between the age of 6 and 10.  From all the stories I’ve been told children 10 years and older can sometimes struggle.  Truce is only 4 and I think there will be a direct link to how much Spanish I learn and how fluent she is by the end of the year.  At her age much of the playing she does is without speech.  For example when she came home from school yesterday she told me she has spent the day pretending to be a dog.  For that game she only needed to know how to bark and pant in Spanish.

The main reason we left Australia was to learn another language as a family.  For children who grow up in a bilingual environment a second language is a natural part of life.  Our girls are aware of other cultures and languages thanks to years of hosting German, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese students but until now learning another language has not been relevant in their lives.   


  1. Good Blog!
    I think this post was made recently while I was reading part of your history here... And I must say, your girl looks adorable in her uniform!
    She will teach you Spanish soon... they learn so fast!
    Great pictures, by the way!

  2. Thanks Ley,

    It's so easy to take photos of Chile, especially Valparaíso. Such amazing colours.

    You're right I'm going to have to do a course soon to catch up to them.