Karla will be starting school this fall and she's very excited. We talk about it often and she just smiles and says, "I'm a big girl." Since she knows she's going to school she has been trying out her Enlgish. Sometimes we hear her speaking to Gaby in English, but Gaby, interestingly, repsonds to her in Spanish. She really catches our attention when she speaks English to Andrea. She says many thing some comprehensible and others not so comprehensible. Andrea just babbles back to her. Karla's two most common phrases are "What you say me?" and "Whatcha doin'?" We find this very cute and interesting since our oldest didn't speak English at home until she started school. Also, we notice that Karla knows more English at this age than Gaby did.
Well, this prompted a conversation between my husband and me. He feels that Karla will resist speaking Spanish more than Gaby did. This had never ocurred to me. He feels this way because Karla is very strong willed and does only what she wants. She will do what others want her to do once she feels like doing it. Also, he feels that her practicing sooner may be an indication that she prefers English already but hasn't begun to use it because she doesn't know enough yet. He's concerned since he has the most to lose if any of our girls ever stop speaking English. His English is limited and his family speaks no English.
My response to him was that as long as we continue with her as we have with Gaby we'll be fine. (English at school, Spanish at home unless it's academic related.) I told him that in this battle we have an extra man, Gaby. She's doing great in retaining her Spanish and as long as she continues, Karla will see the norm and do it as well. In addition, we still have little Andrea who we are still speaking Spanish to, and if she wants to communicate with her little sister it has to be in Spanish.
Ultimately, we decided that we would definitely keep an eye on this once she starts school and that we would work on this together. This conversation did make me think, maybe she's just practicing for when she starts school. Maybe he's right, this is the beginning of her liking English more. Or maybe her parents are over reacting too soon. I'll keep you updated. Ay Mamá!
Filed under: Uncategorized