Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Glimpse into the mind of a 4-year-old

My 4-year-old daughter is very happy that I have been losing weight. Usually when I go to school, her friends all call me fat (doong-doong hada) and giggle and try to play with my belly [Later I'll get into the social implication of why the teachers don't teach the children against these behaviors or scold them for it]. Now that I have lost a lot of weight (about 25 kilos so far), my belly is a lot smaller and she admonishes her friends and says that I am not fat and that my belly used to "be like this and now it is like this." Big daddy smile here.
Of course this communication is all in Korean. My daughter doesn't really speak much English because she uses it at school and with mommy and grandparents and everyone else. Though we speak mostly English at home between my wife and I, my daughter is aware that I can speak a pretty good amount of Korean. But there is another aspect to her understanding about daddy losing weight that is a bit perplexing and a little humerous. She seems to be under the impression that if "daddy becomes skinny, he won't speak English anymore." Anyone care to comment on the social or psychological implications of this bit of wierdness?

4 comments:

tMoney said...

That is not only funny but really shows the truth of little kids in general. I remember when i shaved my head last year. The kids called me Gollum for some time. Now I have beard which is also strange to them. I figure I'm going to stand out a little anyway, being foreign, so why not do what I want to do.... congrats on the weight loss....

EFL Geek said...

Well your Korean must be better than mine. I can understand most of what my 5 year old says, but not all. Just like your daughter, mine goes to a kindergarten and before that a daycare where everything was done in Korean so her english is much weaker than her Korean despite constant exposure at home.

Anyhow I've decided to try speaking Korean more at home for the next six months in a bid to improve my relationship with her. I can't exactly demand that she learn English. While that may be easier for her, I've got the adult awareness that she lacks and thus the onus is on me.

fencerider said...

Eflgeek,
the onus really is on us....research shows that the OPOL (One Parent One Language) method seems to work the best...you speak only in English and your wife (assuming she is Korean) only in Korean. But this may only apply in English primary environments since the studys seem to only be in those environs (at least the only one's I've seen)

EFL Geek said...

I'd love to read those studies. I haven't read much on bilingual education or raising children in bilingual/1.5 languages (1 parent bilingual and the other sort of bilingual but not really) environments.

If you know where I can find those studies could you send me an email?