Day 13: Today, I am thankful that Valentina is bilingual and hasn’t had any problems with her speech.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you may remember the post I wrote about deciding to use OPOL before Valentina was born. OPOL (One Person One Language) has proven to be very effective in the 2.5 years of Valentina’s life. Some kids take a bit longer to process things and therefore start speaking later. Not this kid. She learned really quick and has no problems switching back and forth. Sometimes she’ll speak to me in Italian and I’ll make her repeat things until she says it in English.
She knows her numbers up to 20 (up to 25 in English), colors, Alphabet, & animals in both languages. What amazes me the most is how easily she translates things for people and how she knows what language each person should speak. Just today,(while Skyping with my mom) Valentina told my mom that she and Nonna (Carlo’s mom) played with bubbles. My mom said, “Oh.. you played with ‘bolle di sapone’?” Valentina said, “No.. bubble soap.” She tells my mom the literal translation knowing that my mom speaks English and therefore it’s “bubble soap”.
She’ll speak to me in English and occasionally we sing Italian songs together but other than that.. it’s English for us. She speaks to Carlo in Italian. They’ll read books together and if she doesn’t know the word in Italian, she’ll say it in English. Carlo will often read books in English and she’ll respond either way… depending on her mood. I’ve noticed that she’ll speak to Betta in Italian so it looks like we may have to switch to ML@H when they are older. (ML@H= Minority Language at Home)
Tonight, as I was going to upload my photos for todays post, I heard them reading together and decided to change topics. Luckily I was able to get a video of them. I’ve been trying for months to record her speaking and she freezes up when she sees the camera. She must have been too tired or really into the story because she didn’t care. She kept talking.