Friday, January 2, 2015

Bilingual at Eighteen Months

Little Bit loves to be read to from her animal picture book. She knows the names of almost all of them although hippopotamus gives her pause.
Now here's the thing. She is 18 months old. 

When I read to her 

or when her dad reads to her, she says the animal names in English.

When her Chinese mother reads to her, she says the names in Chinese. 
We don't have to be reading. We can just be the ones sitting and pointing and she adjusts to the language of the adult sharing time with her.
Then there was the delightful interchange where her mom had been telling her something in Chinese - a rather long instruction. When she was finished, Little Bit sighs and says very clearly, okay.

I know I am a proud grandmother and thrilled with every accomplishment of every one of our 12 grands, and this is especially amazing to me because it is new to my experience. She is not confused. She is very smart. And she is already clear and articulate (and opinionated as most 18 month-olds) in two languages. Wow.

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