В семейном клубе "Friendly English" открыта запись в новую группу.
The fact that my father dealt with native English speakers in his job as an interpreter didn’t facilitate my learning the language when I went to a Russian school with English bias at the age of seven. I encountered a lot of difficulties and didn’t make good progress in understanding grammar. It resulted in my inability to communicate in English in India where I had to spend seven months of my life being a ten-year-old. I only began to understand English grammar taking lessons from a private teacher before entering the institute. An idea began to form in my mind that it would be great to teach my future child to speak two languages at once.
After graduating from the institute I began to teach English. Throughout my career I’ve had a chance to teach all ages. My first and youngest pupil back in 1993 was four years old. Since that time I’ve worked with preschool and school children, University students and adults. And everyone faced the same problems. It took people years to master the language.
My idea to raise a bilingual child grew stronger but it reached its climax when my colleague brought to work her four-year-old son who could speak both Russian and French equally fluently. She said she’d been speaking French to him since he was born. So during the first years of his life the boy didn’t even realize his mother knew any Russian. I liked the result but I I couldn’t imagine myself speaking a foreign language to my child at the playgrounds and shops – it would look so strange!
Soon my daughter was born and immediately two things became clear to me: I couldn’t deny myself the pleasure of speaking my native tongue to her; I disliked the idea of deceiving her in any way. Now my desire to rid her of future difficulties was great but the best way to do it was yet to be found. When she was one day old, I addressed her with a couple of sentences in English. After returning from the maternity hospital, I began to read to her a page or two in English every day. We also listened to English songs and stories read by native speakers for a few minutes every day, the time I exposed her to English growing gradually.
When Dasha was 11 months old, I felt it was time for me to switch to English altogether. She is 34 months old now and I speak English to her whenever we are alone. When we go for a walk or when other people come, I switch back to Russian. My daughter can understand both languages perfectly but her speech is a funny mixture of Russian and English words along with some words she invents herself.
One of the first words Dasha began to utter was “up” and it is still among her favourites. With its help she refers to many concepts: “go up”, “pick up”, “grown up”, “top” etc. She also says a lot of short words such as: “car”, “blue”, “cup”, “cap”, “tights”, “boots” and so on.
Until recently it was I who chose songs and cartoons for her and she listened to a lot of English speech. But now she’s begun to decide for herself and more and more often I notice that she has a clear preference for Russian.
And I ask myself a number of questions: Am I on the right track? Did I choose the right age? When she begins to speak in sentences, will she be able to use both languages? How can I provide enough practice for her in future?
What do you think?