Saturday, September 15, 2012

E is for Ellie

The highlight of our letter E week was our "E is for Ellie" day.

  • We worked on spelling Ellie's name on a white erase board.
  • Created our own alphabet magnet puzzle 
  • For the craft, I taped off a capital E and let Ellie paint a picture. When it dried, I removed the tape to display her E painting. Our watercolors were a little weak but you can see a better example over at Blissfully Domestic
  • For our story, I read one of Ellie's favorite books Where, Oh Where is Huggle Buggle Bear? by Katherine Sully. I picked this one not only because it is one of her favorites (and mine too!) but also because one of the characters in the story is an elephant named Ellie Nellie. I had her identify the name Ellie on the pages it was written. 
  • For our Spanish activity, we practiced introductions using "Me llamo _____."  To allow for lots of repetitions, I got out her toy princesses for us to play with in Spanish. I role played a few dialogues with the prince and princesses and soon Ellie was ready to join in!
Here is an example of the simple dialogue:
Prince: Hola. Me llamo Prince Charming. Como te llamas?Princess: Me llamo ____. (Ariel, Snow White, get the idea!)Prince: Mucho gusto. 
Ellie was hesitant to respond in Spanish and I didn't force her to. It is very normal for early language learners to respond in their first language even when being questioned in a different language. It is a natural part of language acquisition and I have to remind myself of that. It sure is funny that I know what all the research on language development says from past research I have done, but yet I still find myself expecting my own child to instantly be fluent. Language learning can be a slow process and the only way to "speed it up" is to incorporate more of the target language. Ellie could be immersed more in Spanish if we only used Spanish in our daily conversations, music, stories, etc. Is anyone else out there trying to teach their toddler a second language? How is it going? How do you consistently use the second language with him or her?

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