Thursday, January 27, 2011

Six years and an English submarine

The conditions when we learn a new language may differ a lot. If I compare my situation when I was nine, with my nine year daughter's today, it's totally different. I had never heard anyone in my environment talk anything else than Swedish. On TV and radio there were almost only my own language. The first English song I remember that I tried to sing when I was six, was Yellow Submarine with The Beatles. We were sitting on a table at the preschool with an orange turntable and playing that song on and on. Some years later came Waterloo with ABBA. But these were exceptions and I didn't understand why I had to learn something that I couldn't see any use of outside the classroom.

I can't imagine that my daughter doesn't understand why she has to do her English homework. She has been surrounded with English for as long as she can remember. For example when her siblings have done their homework or listened to music and films on You Tube and when her parents have been engaged with blogging.

I remember once when I asked my son if he had done his English homework and he was occupied with the computer. He didn't answer me so I was a bit angry when I went to him and asked again. Then he showed me an American film on You Tube he was watching. I tried to understand what they were saying....... But my son had to translate it for me!
-Well, I said, maybe you can do your homework when you have seen that.


Jill said...

Kids learn so many things! And they seem to learn new languages SO quickly. I used to speak French but as soon as I quit using it I lost it. I can only remember little bits of it these days.

So, Ella, do your children study English in primary school?

Ella said...

We start with it in first grade (7 years old) with songs, games and chants. In grade three it became more seriously with reading, writing and having homework.