Saturday, February 07, 2009

English lesson gone awry

(Misha at a football game this past fall)

A couple months ago, I realized that Misha does not have the language skills the other two boys have acquired. Why did it take me so long to notice? Because he has a two-fold personality trait in that he is very expressive with his hands and body language and that is combined with the fact that he is good at reading others' body language and intent without necessarily understanding the words spoken. These two things masked the fact that he wasn't using words because he didn't know them! (he understands, for instance "vacuum" but might not be able to come up with the word on his own. He would say "Vrooomm" and act it out)

Anyway, I have started reminding him to "Use words" when he talks and have been asking him to repeat what I say to him sometimes to see if he listened to what I actually said (usually, I have to repeat myself). Steve has been stopping him every once in a while to quiz him with "What's that?" questions. Like the other day:

Steve: Misha, what is that? (Pointing at the light)

Misha: Light

Steve: And what is that around it?

Misha: I don't know

Steve: It's a fan... And this?

Misha: Bed

Steve: And what is that white part up there? (Pointing at the ceiling)

Misha: Seal. Steve: No, close--It's a ceiling.
And what is on the floor? (Pointing at the carpet)
Misha: Toys!

Yep. he got that right! Obviously I need to clean my room!



Drew, Michelle, Luke and Tetyana said...

I have found the whole language acquisition to be so facinating! It has been such a cool journey!

Mike and Christie said...

What a darling picture! :)

It must be harder for them to learn English having brothers to talk to that still speak their native language. Because Sarah had already lost her Russian before Erika came, she was totally immersed in English, however, I have found Sarah to be more advanced in spoken language.(comparing the same time home)
But Sarah cracked us up when she had been home just one year. She knew how to speak really pefect Texan, but didn't comprehend most things.
We started doing the same thing you did,(pointing and asking "what is that) and she didn't know.
But she could say, "I'm fixin' to go outside!"

Sarah has been in the U.S. for almost 5 years (as of June 15 this year) and I have seen INCREDIBLE progress especially this year, with comprehension.

Those kids are just so cute!
Ya'll are really blessed!

DoveFamily said...

It's kind of funny how we sometimes miss these things, and then they hit us right in the face! Glad he's making progress, though.

PS. you know I totally LOVE the picture - a wonderful sea of orange :)

Natalia said...

I wanted to peek in here and let you know that I've left a comment on your post about your chore system. Thanks so much for sharing!