It's my life, but not as I knew it!


I have been thinking a lot about language recently. For a start, I am married to a full-blown Italian. He may be fluent in English (so much so that people often forget he is in fact, gasp, foreign) but his family aren’t.
Raising bilingual babies brings about challenges of it’s own. Plus, with Biscuit and Cracker having just turned two, I have their impending health review coming up with the inevitable questions regarding their speech and language development.
Speech and language development provides a fascinating insight into your little ones brain and the speed at which it grows and matures. Children go from being able to say 0 words at 6 months, to around 1-3 at 12 months, around 10-20 at 18 months, 50+ at 2 years, 200+ at 2 1/2 years (yep an increase of around 150 words in just 6 months), 500-1000 at 3 years, 1000-1500 at 4 years and 1500-2000 at 5 years. That is enormous growth, and absolutely amazing. I find myself open-mouthed at how the twins seem to have new words every single day. Biscuit came out with a four word sentence the other day, what a genius!!
On top of this, as I mentioned, Biscuit and Cracker are learning two languages at once. Rob only speaks to them in Italian and I only speak to them in English (probably a good thing as the words I know in Italian are not for little ears!). This includes our reading books- Rob is currently reading them the Harry Potter series in Italian and they have lots of kids books in Italian too.
An issue we did think of was that about 90% of the twins’ language influence is English. So we looked for kids DVDs in Italian (and found Bob The Builder and Everything’s Rosie) which they really enjoy watching. We also now get films in Italian, so they watch Frozen on a daily basis whilst learning another language (that also helps me too, it’s amazing what you pick up from Disney films and songs).
If you’re interested in getting your kids (or you) into a second language, watching familiar films and listening to music really does help. Rob says that’s how he started learning English- by watching Jurassic Park over and over again!
As they get older, we will probably have a look at them having some formal Italian teaching (to help with the grammar etc) but for now I stay amazed at how they soak up words and know more every day. They already put me to shame!!!


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