What do we have to do with Australia? – Part 2.

Our Australian friends (who we’d met on our honeymoon in Istanbul) came to Europe for a cruise on the Danube. Their ship left from Budapest and they could visit us as well. They killed two birds with one stone and it was again a great opportunity for E. to “test” her English. (You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here when she met her English speaking cousin)

As soon as M. and B. arrived at our place, M. and E. hit it off. E. wanted to show her room and her kitchen and what she cooked. I was astonished to see it as she is never so open and welcoming to anyone, not to mention a stranger. There was no language barrier as such. It was absolutely natural for her to use English with M.

E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B, which were all Australia related.

Presents for E. – Books

At first, she was a bit afraid of Jacko and the beanstalk (I guess because of the scary crocodile), but by now she’s okay with it.

She really loves to identify the Australian animals in the little booklet in the top right corner. As this book also includes the national anthem, we spent one evening after dinner to listen to it on youtube

(together with several other national anthems, like the British, the US, Irish, Spanish, Colombian and the German)

Toys E. received from M. and B.
Her favourite is the platypus (E. named her Platy). And we agreed they can talk in English only. She accepted it without any problem.

So our friends, M. and B., came to our place. I showed them around our area and invited them for a traditional Hungarian lunch (goulash soup, fried chicken breast in bread crumbs, mash potato plus green salad).

E. took a nap and as soon as she woke up we left for Szentendre, a town near to Budapest on the bank of the Danube.

Szentendre in pictures
Just arrived
Main Square

On the bank of the River Danube

We had a wonderful time together. E. proved her great level of English again. We’ve been enriched with some books on Australia, some stuffed animals from the country and the time spent with this lovely couple.

Thank you, M. and B.! We hope to see you again!

What do we have to do with AUSTRALIA??? Part 1

In short: Nothing. In more details: last month (April) we met a lovely elderly couple from Australia who we’d encountered on our honeymoon in Istanbul in 2011. Quite unusual.

I’ve taken  the opportunity of their visit to Hungary to introduce Australia to E. She loves planet Earth anyway. She already knows about continents (her favourite is Antarctica) so Australia will be fascinating for her. I hoped…

Map of Australia

As E. enjoys looking at maps and our big picture atlas I made a map colouring activity for her. I just printed a blank Australia map with the states drawn on it and after naming each states we coloured them one by one.

E. is practising her A
I also wrote AUSTRALIA below the map and E. traced my letters.

This Australian map puzzle was quite time-consuming to make but the result was beautiful and E. loved it. The link gives you a detailed description how to prepare it. In my version I laminated the pieces. As Queensland and Western Australia consist of 2 parts I sellotaped them together. Then I added sticky back velcro (bought them on sale in Auchan).

The background is a big blue cardboard

 

sticking

 

FINISHED!

I couldn’t buy a big enough cardboard to fit Tasmania in the right place. What a pity!

We can also use this puzzle map in the long run (I also plan to introduce her some cities as well as animals and famous sights. We’ll use this map to pin cities, animals and sights up on it and put it on the wall to display)

She has done the Australian puzzle map several occasions. Sometimes she even said the names of its states.

Painting the flag

As the puzzle map gave me a hard time we did not twist the flag project. I printed a blank Australian flag and painted it while we were talking about what is what on the flag
  1. The British Union Jack flag is in the upper left corner – noting Australia’s ties to Great Britain
  2. The Southern Cross constellation (5 stars) is on the right side of the flag. The constellation can be seen from everywhere in Australia
  3. The large, white, seven-pointed Commonwealth Star

Of course, we displayed our pieces  on our living-room door. You need to imaging the composition as I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it.

Work in progress
Let’s start!

Animals of Australia

First, I created flashcards of the most commonly known Australian animals. (See a printable at the end of the post)

Kangaroo                                         Duck-billed Platypus
Koala                                                Cassowary
Emu                                                  Brown snake
Wombat                                           Salt Water Crocodile
Dingo                                                Echidna
Tasmanian Devil                           Frilled Necked Lizard

E. has already heard about and seen a kangaroo in the zoo, and also seen pictures of koalas. She knows the (white) wombat from the video titled Red Rabbit, Green Gorilla. She is also familiar with the look of a crocodile or a snake as well as an ostrich, which can remind you of an emu. So first, I showed her 7 flashcards out of the 12.

As most of the animals had a familiar look I decided to add some information to the flashcards on their backs.

We had a look at Australia in our Picture Atlas Of The World.

As on this map flora and fauna is depicted, I showed E. an animal, I said its name and  she needed to find it on the map. When she found it we placed the flashcard on the map and I told her some interesting information (1 or 2 pieces) about the animal (eating habit, place of living, offspring etc.)
She was laughing at the platypus and found the Tasmanian Devil cute.

When we finished with this she wanted to see them in real life so we sat down in front of youtube and watched a few interesting videos. (I had prepared for this request so we didn’t need to waste time with searching for them)

The Cow Goes Moo – Kangaroo for Kids

Koala-la-la-la

Bindi and Robert Irwin feature huge salt-water crocodile

Platypus: Animals for Children

E. was fascinated by the platypus, mainly its webbed feet. So we needed to draw a Mommy and Baby platypus webbed “feet”

We’ll have a look at the other animals later.

In the next part:

E.’s 2nd test of her English; the lovely time in Szentendre we spent together with our Australian friends (M. and B.). – You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here
E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B.

 

 

 

Over 100 words

E. turned 16 months on Monday and I am not exaggerating if I say she can use much more than 100 words in each language (Hungarian and English).

The calculation was done by D. He added up all the functional language (thanking, asking, giving, objecting, greetings etc.) and words of different topics we’ve been dealing with (see the collection bellow) and the sum must be over 100 words, getting closer to 200.

Now I’m collecting the ones that E. uses confidently in the right context (and not just parroting them or not the ones she understands because in this case there are a thousand words, I guess). Of course, these words and expressions are not 100 % clear. (She tends to pronounce the “k”  sound  “p”, the “g” sound “b” or the vowels sometimes melt into one another). Still, it’s her great achievement.

Now I’m trying to focus on her English only:

Peek-a-boo

Functional language:

  • Thank you
  • Please
  • Pick it up
  • Here you are
  • There (if she wants to go somewhere)
  • Let’s go
  • Come on
  • Bye-bye
  • Hi/Hello
  • Don’t like it
  • Like it
  • Cheers (when drinking)
  • Up
  • Out (of the playpen or high chair)
  • not comfy (on the potty)
  • Oops (when something is fallen)
  • Oh, no! (when something goes wrong)
  • Peek-a-boo (when she hides behind the curtain)

Family members:

  • mommy
  • daddy
  • granny
  • papa (for grandpa)
  • baby
  • + names of our family members (7 people), our native nanny (A.) and my best friend (B.)

Animals: (if she doesn’t know the name of the animal she says the sounds they make)

  • doggie
    Our poor mixed-breed
  • froggie
  • cat/kitty
  • cow
  • sheep
  • kangaroo
  • hippo
  • bear
  • mouse
  • rat
  • panda
  • butterfly
  • ladybird
  • bee
  • pig
  • duck
  • ant
  • turtle
  • whale
  • dino

Fruit:

Window pictures
  • apple
  • pear
  • grapes (a bunch of grapes)
  • banana
  • kiwi
  • orange
  • plum
  • lemon
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • apricot
  • peach
  • tomato
  • berry

Vegetable:

  • aubergine
  • onion
  • potato
  • broccoli
  • mushroom
  • pumpkin

Other foods:

water
  • cheese
  • bread
  • salami
  • sausage
  • honey
  • water
  • milk
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • butter
  • yogurt
  • coffee
  • ice creme
  • ricecake

Flowers:

  • peony
  • lilac
  • begonia
  • pansy
  • daisy
Flag of Portugal – E.’s favourite right now

Countries/Flags/:

  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Hungary
  • the European Union
  • Turkey
  • Italy

Colours: (the clearest utterances)

    • red
    • orange
    • yellow
    • green
    • blue
    • purple
    • pink
    • black
    • white
    • grey
Bubbles
  • brown

Shapes:

  • oval
  • triangle
  • heart
  • star
  • pentagon
  • rectangle

Everyday object/Toys:

  • spoon
  • plate
  • knife
  • fork
  • bottle
  • kitchen
  • teddy
  • book
  • playground
  • sandpit
  • bath
  • colour pencil
    drawing a star
  • crayon
  • paper
  • drawing
  • nappy
  • creme
  • toothbrush
  • man (a plastic figurine)
  • clock
  • high chair
  • door
  • playpen
    Sandpit
  • video
  • dummy
  • potty
  • poopy
  • pee pee
  • peg
  • mill
  • car
  • choo-choo train
  • ball
  • puddle
  • big
  • bubbles
  • bin
  • balloon
  • sun
  • cloud
Hat and jeans

Clothes:

  • jacket
  • slippers
  • hat
  • trousers
  • jeans
  • shoes
  • cardigan
  • boots
  • pyjamas
  • socks

Body parts:

  • head
  • pinkie
  • nose
  • ear
  • knee
  • mouth
  • toe
  • eyes

Musical instruments: (she’s not so intereted in this topic although she is quite musical)

  • drum
  • piano

Breeds of dog: (I introduced some dog flashcards 3 days ago)

  • Westie
  • Shar-pei
  • bulldog
  • puli
  • mixed breed

E. is making up more and more combinations, like big puddle, red pinkie (for polished fingernails), purple plum, pencil drawing, banana yogurt, black doggie etc.

If it goes like this, in two more months she’ll say sentences. She’s amazing, a little genius. Am I proud? Hard to say how much 🙂

"Amimals" – in zoos

Going to the zoo was always my favourite activity as a child (still love it today) so I could hardly wait for E. to get at least a little bit interested. And the time has come.

Our first time to the Budapest zoo was when she was 6 months old. It was more fun for me than for her. She had a look at the camels (and smiled when saw them pee) and the farmyard and then fell asleep. She only woke up for nursing (which I managed in the disabled loo) then went back to sleep again.

But now as she is over 1 (15 months old more precisely) she takes pleasure in walking around and looking at animals.

Visiting relatives in Debrecen gave us the sudden idea to visit the zoo there. It was actually a great idea. We all loved it. We were already in the zoo for half an hour (saw some parrots, giraffes and monkeys) when I realised what a good occasion would this be to use English (our Hungarian relatives didn’t accompany us). So we just sang our song to signal the change in using languages and continued our animal adventure in English.

As we were walking around, we described everything to her in English (and as usual she was repeating everything like a parrot):

  • what animals we saw (turtles, a hippo, penguins  – her favourites, more monkeys, laughing doves, roosters and hens, camels, goats, ostriches and lions)
  • what they looked like (“Look, the camel has two big humps”; “Wow, this rooster has a huge red comb on his head”)
  • what sounds they gave (roar, squeak, cock-a-doodle-do, coo-coo etc.)
  • what the animals were served for dinner (fruits, vegetables, mouse, rabbit etc.)

At the end of our visit we found a wooden playground where there were a lot of animals. E.’s favourite was the caterpillar. She climbed on it and rode it for about 15 minutes. We also counted and named the caterpillar’s legs, eyes, mouth and antennae.

Our second English tour in the zoo was in Budapest with our native nanny, A.
I learnt some new animal names (e.g.:cassowary) and we had a wonderful day with a lot of English (I tried to stay in the background and let A. and E. interact with each other a lot). The photos speak for themselves.

E.’s favourite place was the Butterfly House, where we could see how butterflies come out of their pupa, and of course, there were plenty of different types of butterflies flying around, eating oranges or just resting on the plants. We had to go back once again before leaving the zoo. E. was running around and one could see on her little face how amazed she was. Her favourite animals are butterflies at the moment.

Morpho peleides butterfly – blue on the inside
E.’s pointing at the butterfly she liked the most, saying: “orange”

After the zoo experience I found a nice page where the metamorphosis of a butterfly can be seen quite nicely. So I printed it and E.”coloured” it 🙂 with my help.

We also watched the seal show at 11 o’clock. A big crowd gathered to see the seals but everything was explained in Hungarian only. (Sorry A., I didn’t interpret it at all 😦  )

E. was fascinated by the ball (and not the seal…)

 

Baby Giraffe

E. was sleeping when we went to see the Neanderthals. It’s a relatively new exhibition of a (wax) Neanderthal family. This little boy with the cave drawing was my favourite.

After E. woke up we had some lunch (vegetable dish for E. and sandwiches for A. and myself – I wish E. hadn’t said “people” for the first time while I put a spoonful of her dish into her mouth)

 

Flamingoes

We also went to see the baby elephant, but E. was more interested in a turtle shell:

Another favourite place was the traditional Hungarian farmyard. Rabbits were E.’s favourite. We had to return for a second visit. E. was repeating the words like “rabbit”, “hop”, “carrot” and “apple” all the way through. E. had an incident with the foal, which wanted to eat her shoes.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves to a great extent and will return to practise our English as well as having fun around “amimals” – as E. says.

More and more words

Just a short post on how our language development is going. E. is 15,5 months old and about a few weeks ago I stopped counting how many English and Hungarian words she knows.
Now here are some random interesting features of her language knowledge:

English:

  • she knows all the main colours (in both languages)
  • loves saying 3 (or more) -syllable words (aubergine, apricot, butterfly)
  • started to say combination of words (green peas, red rose, purple plum, yellow balloon)
  • she says what she really wants in both languages (more-még, drink-inni, bread-kenyér etc.)
  • her functional language is outstanding – she says thank you, Mommy – when she gives something back to me or when I give her something, here you are (not clearly though – it sounds like: heeyaa), please – when she asks for something, don’t like it – if she doesn’t want to eat something
  • sometimes she sounds like saying a sentence that she doesn’t do in Hungarian (it’s incomprehensible, though)
  • when she points at a spider she says: incywincy
  • potty time is mostly in English so she rather says poopy and peepee
  • prefers songs in English

    Favourite songs now:

  • loves to watch/sing/chant the English alphabet
  • E. likes certain books in English, though I “read” most books in both languages
  • Still, her favourite is Fran Manushkin: How Mamma Brought the Spring

    But she also takes pleasure in Great Day for Up! by Dr. Seuss and Goodnight, Spot by Eric Hill nowadays.

    Hungarian:

    • she is trying to say long words (more than 4 syllables) – palacsinta
    • prefers the countries in this language (her favoutite one to say is Svájc, and her favourite flag is the Belgian – because of the black in it -, though she cannot pronounce it clearly)
    • when she sees the Turkish flag she starts to chant: pont, pont vesszőcske, készen van a fejecske, kicsi nyaka, nagy a hasa, készen van a TÖRÖK basa – her utterence is 50% right, but the intonation is perfect
    • prefers rhymes in Hungarian (Boci, boci tarka, A török és a tehenek)
    • she says tetszik  if she likes something or someone (doesn’t say it in English)



    Some cute details:

    • her favourite animal is the penguin at the moment
    • out of nowhere she calls out her native nanny’s name
    • her favourite colour is black, though she says pink or purple
    • her favourite body part is her belly button (when she has a look at her own, she makes us show ours)
    • her favourite flower is carnation
    • she claps after pooping
    • she loves drawing (onto the parquet, at the playground, on sheets of paper, on the door – but not on the wall yet)
    • she pronounces Peppa Pig as if she were a little native British girl  🙂