Our Hungarian summer

I’ve had so many plans for our summer: many English activities, arts and crafts, whole days spent in English, having my best friend B. over a lot, who speaks to the kids English only, learning to read in English with Little L., reading chapter books in English with E. or snuggling on the sofa on rainy days watching English-speaking animations. Well, it didn’t really work out.

Most of our days we’ve been spending in Hungarian. The girls play with each other in Hungarian (they are in the own, imaginary world of “NOLS” and “NEWIES”), the Hungarian neighbour boys have been coming over to play in the paddling pool in Hungarian, the girls started to watch a Barbie cartoon on TV which cannot be watched in the original language. We go on day trips within Hungary and there is no English environment for the girls at all. So I can put out a large FAIL sign on our SUMMER.

I’ve been really disappointed and desperate about it. Even if I try to speak to them in English they refuse to answer in English. E. started it a few months ago and now Little L is doing the same copying her big sister. Sometimes when I keep trying and I bump into big HUNGARIAN walls I’m on the verge of crying. Often I give up speaking in English to them because the whole situation is so frustrating.

Then there are good moments, but moments only. I’m really scared of losing what we’ve reached in the last 8 years and I do not feel motivated at all. On the one hand I know their English foundation is strong, it’s there in their little heads and they are clever, any time they can take their English out and use it without any problems. On the other hand, our first aim was real bilingualism that we seem to be losing now. And my heart sinks. I feel I can’t turn back on this slope and we’re running into leaving the language behind.

I know these are terribly negative thoughts. I rarely write about my doubts and fears, demotivation, and frustration. However, I feel if I write it out of myself it’ll be easier, this English-less intermission will be over and everything gets back on the right (English-speaking) track. Also, I would like you to see that our language journey is not an easy, sweet ride without any obstacles. There are some highs and there are deep, dark lows, like this period now.

Just for me I’d like to collect what English activities we managed to hold on to in this desperate time:

reading English books (at meal time, nap time and bedtime)

watching some cartoons on TV (e.g.: Pat the dog)

playing with English games (apps like Lingokids)

meeting my English-speaking friend B. once a week

watching films on HBOgo (Frozen 1-2., Bolt)

Well, that’s all. I can’t add anything else to the list at the very moment. This is the most I have energy for after having recieved a lot of negative feedback from my kids. I’ve stopped pushing it. As in Frozen I let go and accept this is a very Hungarian period in our life. And I’ll focus on enjoying it whatever language we’re in.


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