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  🙂

    Bilingual créche and nursery

    We visited Mini Klub Bilingual Crèche and Nursery in Budapest, 4th district. We have it in mind that it might do good to E. if she is among other kids. As we wouldn’t like to decrease the amount of time spent on English, I checked what possibilities we have concerning a bilingual nursery. (I also checked the English-only nurseries but both they are far from us and their price range is high above what we can afford.)

    Playground area

    So I would like to share my experiences in connection with our visit.

    D. took a day off and all three of us could go and visit the institution in the afternoon. The building itself is a detached house with its garden full of playground games (swings, seesaws, climbing castle, slide etc.). The gate is locked in order not to let in strangers and not to let out the kids. Kati néni opened the gate for us. She was very welcoming and kind. Inside we met one of the crèche nurses (her name I’ve forgotten). In the hall area you can take off your shoes. It’s all colourful and nicely decorated. Even if it is the entrance full of shoes and coats, it’s neat and well organised.

    The crèche area (nursery for babies under 3) is separated from the nursery. There is a kitchen area where they prepare elevenses and afternoon snacks for the kids, or heat up the food they order for lunch. There are 2 playing rooms for the little ones (i.e. there are two groups), maximum 8 babies in each. The youngest child now is one year old (just like E.) as the nurse told us. The playroom is full of colourful toys (everything had been put back on the shelves and into cupboards as it was after 15:30 and all the babies had been take home already). E. started to cruise along the furniture and pack down the toys. She had a wide smile on her face. She felt comfortable immediately. And we, parents as well. We asked our questions and got very impressive and informative answers. Here are some of them which I found important to know:

    • every group has 2 nurses: one Hungarian-speaking, one English-speaking (still the latter is Hungarian nationality)
    • the English-speaking nurse communicates in English with the kids all day (food time, preparation for sleeping, potty training, activities etc.)
    • every day different skills are in focus (visual, musical, movement etc.) in both languages
    • English activities are in the afternoon (short ones in the crèche and longer sessions in the nursery) with a teacher who is specialised in kid’s English
    • there’s a native nurse in the nursery – the natives are there for 6-week periods – they are kind of trainee nurses (at the moment they have one from Australia) and spend time both with the little ones and the older kids too
    • they close only for 2 weeks in the summer

    Of course, we were talking about food, and food time, sleeping time, arrival and departure, play time, potty training etc, but concerning the language development I found the information above  the most essential. You can find more information about other details on their homepage, or you can visit the after contacting the director via email.

    We look around in the other playroom, checked what beds they use, we also saw the little toilets (which were very clean and the kids’ stuff in nice order). Then we had a look at the playground, and much to my surprise, the native nurse, who was sitting by the side of the sandpit where a little boy was playing, didn’t say a word to him. On the other hand, 2 little girls (4-5 years old) were playing in English, though there were no English speaking adults around them.

    Our overall impression was great. They reacted at our enquiries very quickly, the staff are young, energetic and kind, with some elderly members – as the warm-hearted Granny substitutes. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxed, there is order and organised system. The English language is also in focus all day (though I can’t say it for 100% sure, only after E. has started going there). There are lot of other activities one can choose from (see also their homepage). Last but not least, their monthly fee is reasonable (basic price: 55 000 HUF/ month and 700 HUF/day for food plus extra activities – optional).

    What we have decided to do is to wait one more year and from 2014 September E. will attend the crèche, first, one or two days a week, then slowly more. Then I’ll come back to this topic and share our experiences.