Friday, May 30, 2008

Testing, Again

This morning, I've been up earlier than usual. It's testing time again. I was asked to do the "oral" interview test in Ra'aya, the girls high school in Beit El. They've arranged taxi service for me.

I feel less enthused than usual. I'm too tired. It could be because I've done a lot of traveling and not enough sleeping this week.

Yesterday I cooked in the morning and babysat in the afternoon. My babysitting for the grandkids involve teaching them English. I'm the only one who speaks English to them. They don't always understand what I'm saying and I can't have "deep" conversations, but they do understand a lot of basic English. They've developed skills I don't have. People who understand languages they don't know, or pick up languages quickly are more aware of "other signals." They don't get bogged down in worrying that they comprehend every single word.

By exposing my grandkids to some English a couple of hours a week, I'm really preparing them for multiple languages. Experts say that a person's linguistic ability is expanded if they learn more than one language from the youngest age.

I only heard English when I was a kid. I'm sure that I would have done better in Hebrew and my school Spanish if I had been exposed to any other language.


loonyhiker said...

I think it is great that you are talking to them in a different language. I am the only one in my family who didn't learn Chinese because the school district told them (back in the dark ages) that if I knew anything besides English, it would hurt me with schooling. I wish that I had knowledge of more than one language as I grew up.

Batya said...

Some xenophobic American educator destroyed multi-lingualism by claiming that knowing foreign languages could "hurt" a kid's success in school. That big lie has done more damage...