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Temas - Mike

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What a deliciously rewarding break we had in the UK! A week of bright sunny weather with cloudless skies - not a drop of rain. Good hotels and warm, welcoming family company and excellent food.

Yet, I suppose one of the most inspiring memories of that idyllic stay was how my daughter opened up with the English language. Nobody would and should expect great linguistic advances over such a short stay but other unexpected advances did occur. Perhaps I could call them sociolinguistic. It's probably true to say that most families during the normal comings and goings of everyday life do not happen upon such large groups of "unknown" people with whom one has total trust. "Unknown", that is to my daughter (even though known about). I refer to her English family: aunts, uncles, cousins and a grandmother and other friends of the family, many of whom she met not for the first time but did not remember from her last visit when she was only two.

Carmen opened up in an extraordinary way. Using an English she had developed only through a relatively "private" and I consider staid linguistic relationship with me, her father, she was suddenly immersed in a world where all was in English and English was spoken by everybody around her. Carmen's natural open, inquisitive and highly sociable personality in Spanish with Spanish friends and family now blossomed again but was expressed entirely in English. She listened and chatted to everybody and was exposed to different ways of expression in English, different personalities and, very importantly, for the first time able to listen in to conversations among others and multiple participators in the same conversation. My daughter's natural Andalusian charm (I'd better tone down my desire for filial praise) and love of gregarianism meant that her engagement with others was multiplied. She was, I suppose, the star of the show - a sort of Andalusian Shirley Temple!

My objective appraisal here is the following. We tend, perhaps too much, to place great importance on vocabulary or structure knowledge when evaluating progress in a second language. But what about the development of exuberance, enthusiasm and increased naturalness in expression as a measurement? What about the ability to be able to laugh while you speak the L2 or even cry while you speak? Carmen was nipped by the family dog, which she wanted to cuddle too much - nothing at all serious, fortunately, but she explained the incident through her tears. Also, to learn how to joke in English. Carmen referred to the place we were staying, where they had a lovely black labrador, as a "hotel". I corrected her and said it was called a Bed and Breakfast. Carmen then corrected me and said it should be a Bed, Dog and Breakfast! Well, it made me laugh!

To sum up, Carmen came away from that experience with a bountiful chatty English which I hope she will be able to retain now we're back in the comparatively monotonous father-daughter linguistic relationship once again. A common saying in English is that "travel broadens the mind". I would add that travel also broadens the language mind in ways that no intensive B1/B2 classroom-based English course could ever do.

Mike. (Father of 8-year-old bilingual)  ;D

2
Estoy intentando imaginarme una España bilingüe o trilingüe desde la infancia (tal como estamos intentando promover nosotros en este foro). Claro, sé que muchos españoles lo son en las regiones donde existe un idioma local. Pero tengo la impresión, quizás equivocada, que el conocimiento de un idioma extranjero aporta más a una sociedad - por su obvia mirada hacia los países y culturas de fuera que no son las nuestras y las ventajas que esto podría traer. ¿Qué opináis?

¿Sería una España bilingüe, trilingüe desde la infancia diferente a la España de hoy?

Mike  :)

3
A very Merry Three Kings to all users of our bilingual child forum and may 2017 bring great advances in their progress!

Mike  :D  ;D

4
Interesante artículo acerca de los errores que cometemos los padres a la hora de ayudar a nuestros hijos a hacer los deberes. ¿Estáis de acuerdo?
http://www.lavanguardia.com/estilos-de-vida/20130927/54388049724/escuela-los-12-errores-de-los-padres.html

Mike
(Padre de una niña de 7)

5
At last we're mobile! This means you can read topics and comfortably comment on them from your mobile phone or ipad wherever you are. There may be a few glitches at first. Please let me know if you find any so I can sort them out.

Thanks.

Mike

6
I have written a report article on my daughter, Carmen and English reading skills. The article is meant to serve as advice for parents from my own impressions and also discusses what I see as pitfalls to instruction in learning to read in many traditional Spanish schools. I hope to hear your comments and feedback.
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/en/bilingual-children/reading-in-english.htm

Mike

7
Here you can listen to a recent recording of Esther's four-year-old girl. I've included some of my own comments.

Well done, Esther!
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/en/bilingual-children/esther-recordings.htm

Mike  ;)

8
Hi, everyone

In a recent IATEFL teachers' conference I went to last month, I came across studies of bilingual children. I am including one here (see attached pdf) not because it's typical of your own child's bilingual upbringing but because it should help us to analyse and to a certain extent categorise and thereby understand better our own bilingual setting and how it might be similar or very different from other settings.

It would be interesting to do this as a collaborative study with everyone contributing their opinions. I'll start with some questions to provoke thought and comment:

1) Are there any ways in which Billy's situation is similar to your own? Which?
2) Are there any ways in which Billy's situation is different from your own? Which?
3) Which comments made by the author do you agree with and which do you disagree with?
4) The author mentions "concern about their identity" and "low self-esteem". How do you react to these comments with regards to your own children's bilingual upbringing?
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/pdf_files/bilingual-billy-casestudy.pdf

I look forward to your comments  :)

Mike

9
Hi, everybody

Here are a couple of new things at the bilingual blog that will interest you all.

1) I interview Diana Sampedro on her new book "Baby English":
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/en/bilingual-children/sampedro-interview.htm

2) Lovely story telling session from Esther's child, Carolina:
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/en/bilingual-children/esther-recordings.htm

Enjoy!

Mike

10
Things Lisa said today...

11
Todas las dudas de la gramática inglesa, vocabulario inglés y cualquier otra duda que puedas tener sobre el idioma inglés, contestamos en nuestro nuevo Grupo de Facebook. Además, podéis recibir ejercicios de inglés todos los días laborales. (El foro de los Niños Bilingües va a seguir en el mismo sitio como antes.)
¡Nos veremos en Facebook!
Grupo Facebook: ENGLISH PRACTICE - PRACTICAR INGLÉS

All questions on English grammar, vocabulary or any other query you may have about the English language will now be answered at our new Facebook Group. You can also get English exercises to do every weekday. (The Bilingual Children forum will continue in the same place as before.)
See you in Facebook!
Facebook study group: ENGLISH PRACTICE - PRACTICAR INGLÉS

See you there!

Mike   :)

12
Todas las dudas de la gramática inglesa, vocabulario inglés y cualquier otra duda que puedas tener sobre el idioma inglés, contestamos en nuestro nuevo Grupo de Facebook. Además, podéis recibir ejercicios de inglés todos los días laborales. (El foro de los Niños Bilingües va a seguir en el mismo sitio como antes.)
¡Nos veremos en Facebook!
Grupo Facebook: ENGLISH PRACTICE - PRACTICAR INGLÉS

All questions on English grammar, vocabulary or any other query you may have about the English language will now be answered at our new Facebook Group. You can also get English exercises to do every weekday. (The Bilingual Children forum will continue in the same place as before.)
See you in Facebook!
Facebook study group: ENGLISH PRACTICE - PRACTICAR INGLÉS

See you there!

Mike   :)

13
Happy New Year to all those hard-working and conscientious parents striving to help our children become better communicators across cultures!

All the very best to you in 2016!

Mike
  :)

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Las niñas de Ida hablan. ¡Vaya dos! ¡Pero qué buen inglés! ¡Enhorabuena, Ida!

http://www.englishspanishlink.com/en/bilingual-children/ida-recordings.htm

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"Christmas is a-coming and the geese are getting fat..."



I'd like to make a suggestion that we work on our "bilingual Christmas" this year with lots of appropriate English phrases our children can use.

I've dusted off last year's Christmas pages from English Spanish Link and added some new pics and stuff but I hope you'll also contribute. Your children are now getting more chatty in English so there are lots of things we could do:

1) Insert Mp3 recordings of children singing Christmas carols.
2) Mp3's of talking about Christmas with your children. Why they like Christmas, etc.
3) Written anecdotes from parents about Christmas with our children. "I remember one Christmas when..."
4) Christmas drawings and paintings from your children to upload.

I'd like to have a virtual Christmas Tree picture on a web page and visual, written and oral contributions in the form of links inserted around it together with pictures (I've yet to design that page). It'll be a way for us to come together at Christmas, sit around the tree and share anecdotes and listen to each other's children. We'll just be missing the mince pies!  :)

Meanwhile, please ask about any phrases or words in English re. Christmas you're not sure about on this thread:

Some expressions can be seen on this Christmas page voiced by my then four-year old daughter:
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/ninos-bilingues/frases-navidad.htm

and Christmas carols:
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/ninos-bilingues/villancicos-ingles.htm

Hope to hear your opinions or further ideas.

Mike

16
Me refiero al comentario de Esther en:
http://www.englishspanishlink.com/community-forum/index.php/topic,244.msg1518.html#msg1518

Creo que el uso de los phrasal verbs correctamente construidos (ej. "woke me up" debe aprenderse con el enfoque "naturalistic" (sin instrucción) igual que los aprenden nuestros hijos bilingües. Sus profesores del colegio esquivarán ese "problemilla" de la enseñanza de inglés hasta niveles bastante más avanzados (es demasiado difícil enseñar los phrasal verbs de manera explícita). Debemos dar mucho input de estas palabras, ricas en preposiciones y partículas y uso de "get" + adj. etc., ahora y no usar tanto sus equivalentes latinos o anglosajones simplificados:

Ejs.
1) "go in/come in" en vez de "enter" (mal ejemplo, sé que no diríais "enter" pero sabeis lo que quiero decir, ¿no?)
2) "pick it up off the table" en vez de "take it".
3) "pull/tear off the paper" (from birthday gift) en vez de "open it".
4) "You're getting fatter" en vez de "you're fatter".

¿Más ejemplos...? ¿Queréis aclarar algunos usos de los phrasal verbs, preposiciones etc.?

Mike
(padre de niña de 6)

17
Hoy Ari ha dicho:  :)

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El caso es que Mia (3 años y medio) lleva una semana o dos produciendo oraciones correctas y considerablemente largas; a mi hermano y a mí (que somos los únicos que le hablan en inglés) nos tiene completamente estupefactos, ya que ha sido un aumento brusco en su producción (de intercalar palabras inglesas en oraciones españolas, de repente forma oraciones completas). Os quiero poner un ejemplo (repito, soy consciente de que hay hilos personales para compartir lo que dicen nuestros hijos, pero esto me tiene fascinado):

Jugando con muñecos Playmobil ella sola:

- Hey, monkeys, why () you trap the poor little girl?
- Because we love her, and we want to play with her.
- Then... we have to call the police.

Como entenderéis, al tiempo que me sentía orgulloso, me preocupé por la escena que había inventado; todavía no me explico de dónde saca ese contexto tan extraño.

Saludos de un padre fascinado.

19
Hola,

Viendo la idea de Raquel acerca de publicar las actividades para niños en inglés en una zona determinada, he creado esta página fija para este fin. De esta manera, tendremos en una solo "thread" las actividades juntas.

También se puede insertar enlaces a páginas web externas a este foro o English Spanish Link para actividades para niños en inglés "online" pero esta opción está abierta sólo a los socios de este foro de largo plazo. Los usuarios nuevos no tendrán la opción abierta para insertar enlaces (por razones de seguridad - lo siento). Decidme si veis que este ajuste no está funcionando.

Mike

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Do your children have textbooks yet? Let me know what the material is like...

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