Thursday, 10 February 2011

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J Summary (23M5D) - Language Development

Since J started speaking his first 2-word sentence around 20M22D (either verb + object or subject + verb), he is now speaking them in increasingly frequency such as "ma ma chi" meaning "mommy eat" in Mandarin or "he sui, chi fan" meaning drink water and eat rice in English. He used to just say "sui" or "fan".

In his 2-word speech, J is also using more possessive determiner "my" such as "min bog", "min mor", "min mad" etc. meaning my book, my mother, my food, etc. respectively in Danish.

In his 2-word speech, he is also using more possessive noun such as "Amy jia" meaning Amy'ss home in Mandarin. He could not use any preposition yet, as the correct way of saying it in Mandarin is "Amy de jia", with "de" as a preposition joining "Amy" and "jia".

J does not actively speak English on his own, but he is happy to repeat the names of objects in English such as the names of fishes like as guppy, stickleback, trout, eel, etc. which he is repeating back with rather perfect pronounciation.

Today, J started to say an object in Danish and then Mandarin. He seemed to be translating for himself. For example, he will say "brød" followed immediately by saying "mian bao", both meaning bread in Danish and Mandarin. He would say "fisk" followed immediately by saying "yu", for example, both mean fish in Danish and Mandarin. It seems that he knows that they are 2 different languages and that they meant the same thing. Thus, I can safely throw out the hypothesis of starting multiple languages at an early age will confuse the child now.

According to the milestone chart, he is neither above average nor below average, but considering the many languages that he is juggling, and that boys are usually considerably slower than girls, I am very pleased with the progress he is making. There isn't any delay in speech if using the milestone chart as a benchmark. Thus, I do not have to worry about the hypothesis of learning multiple language at an early age will delay a child's language development theory, at least not yet :-).

If this progress continues in the same velocity, I would be more confident to encourage other parents to expose babies to 3 languages right from day 1.

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