Being eager is a first step
Considering we are moving back to our home country it is time to teach the little one Some Dutch! In early July was the first time we went back to Belgium to find a house and escape the breaking up madness. The toddler speaks very well for her age, somehow I had made the decision for myself to only raise her in English as it has felt unnatural to me speaking Dutch in the UK, after a couple of weeks here I was thinking completely in English, and to be honest with my previous jobs in an international environment, that was mostly the case already. However I had read Dutch books to the toddler.
Now at our visit in July we stayed with a couple who had a little one of her age and I think for the first time she realised that other Children would be speaking another language. We explained that in her school also people would speak Dutch and she just ‘agreed’. My toddler agreed no arguments nothing, no in fact she seemed motivated to actually learn the language. over the passed 6 weeks she convincingly says: “beetje Nederlandz spreken hé ” (as in: let’s speak some Dutch/Flemish).
Tackling a new language
Just like when she was learning English we pointed to objects, letting her repeat the word, read books, sing Dutch songs. I only know:
– ’10 kleine visjes’
– ‘In een klein stationnetje’
– ‘ Handjes draaien, koekenbak,.. ‘
Now she knows and often asks for singing those songs, or she is singing them herself. Being out of nursery it seems as if she forgot some English songs, she is much more into inventing her own lyrics nowadays.
First Results of mastering a new language
The Dutch words she is using frequently without me suggestion to use Dutch are
– voetjes (little feet)
– boekje lezen (read a book)
– vliegen (flying)
– oh neOn (should be oh neen – meaning oh no)
– counting to 10 in both languages
– konijntje (little rabbit)
– zoentje (kiss)
– daaaag (bye)
If any Belgian moms are reading feel free to comment with other options song options.
I am linking up with Small Steps Big Achievements as I am very proud of the pickle to be willing and to make an effort for learning a new language.