In case you missed one of my earlier posts, my preschooler was babbling (Yes, babbling, just like a baby.) for a while in Mandarin. Soon after we started classes at Language Stars*, I would hear her in the back of the car, babbling to a tune or just making some of the sounds from the Mandarin language over and over and over (and over) again. While extremely annoying, this was also a joy to my ears because I knew that she was picking up the sounds of the language and would soon be picking up even more.
So, this week, I heard the "more." I am really kicking myself that I didn't park the car right that second and turn on the camera. (Of course, we all know how things change with little ones once the camera comes on!) But, as it was, I simply enjoyed listening to the great strides she is making in the language. Gone was the babbling. Not only did I hear Mandarin SOUNDS, but I heard Mandarin WORDS. I even heard WHOLE PHRASES in Mandarin--interspersed, of course, with English conjunctions and phrases when she didn't know the words in Mandarin. (I guess she gets a little of that from me because have to do that A LOT!)
She was in the back of the car making up her own little story in Mandarin and English. She was using phrases that I recognized. Some of them were learned in her Language Stars classes, more through poems recited at the non-profit school, and a few from the little books that we read together at bedtime. By stringing the phrases together with a little English, my preschooler was able to create a meaningful story that I could follow! And, more than that, it was obvious that she understood the meaning behind each of the words and phrases--certainly a far cry from the babbling I heard a few months ago!
Ten years from now, when I look back on it, this will be one of the moments that keeps me getting up early every Saturday morning to go to Language Stars. I remember sitting in the car, listening to her make up her little story, thinking, "The language is now becoming MEANINGFUL to her. She's getting it. She's really getting it!"
As always, thanks for reading,
*We get 50% off our tuition for blogging about our Language Stars experiences. But, the opinions expressed here are still my own.