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Grandparenting

Bilingual granddaughter

(11 Posts)
NannyB2604 Sat 22-Jun-19 19:52:40

Hello again
Looking for some tips please. DS, DiL and DGD are visiting this summer. DiL is Korean (that's where they live) and DGD speaks mainly Korean, but can speak some English and understands just about everything we say. DS wants her to gradually improve her English, with a view to eventually coming back to live in England. Any tips on how to facilitate DGD's English learning? Obviously we don't want to make a big deal of it, as we want to make the most of our 2 weeks together and have a lovely time. Do you think just chatting, singing songs and reading to her is fine, or should we do more? Thanks all 😊 BTW DGD is 5 yrs old.

Marydoll Sat 22-Jun-19 20:23:51

NannyB, having taught many of children with little or no English, I found chatting, singing songs, action rhymes and reading stories with lots of illustrations benefitted them enormously.

She is only here for two weeks, so I think the most important thing is that you enjoy your time together without any pressure.
I was always amazed at how quickly children picked up English in a short space of time.

Have a lovely time together, with your wee granddaughter, making lots of happy memories for her to remember when she is back home again.

Avor2 Sat 22-Jun-19 20:46:21

My DGD is half Portuguese and half English, they live in Portugal so her main language is that but my DS and DiL have both spoken to her in both languages since she was a baby and she is very fluent now, I think that perhaps having some children's cds of her age group songs would help, you could all sing along and she will hopefully join in with you all, and perhaps some children's books with pictures of perhaps a tree with the word tree underneath, that sort of thing, I Always bought our girl English books and she took to it very well, the younger they are the quicker they learn. Good luck and have a lovely time with your family, as Marydoll says, make lovely memories xx

Ginny42 Sat 22-Jun-19 20:51:19

Marydoll is right, she'll love songs, especially action songs. There are some lovely books with very few words too. Have a look at the Emily Gravett books like 'Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear' and her 'Bear and Hare' stories, all beautifully illustrated by the author.

If I was looking for one item to teach lots of language I'd use one of the Maisy books by Lucy Cousins - Maisy's House, which is a pop-up and flap book based on Maisy and her house, complete with a model of Maisy to play with. There are different rooms, so your DGD can learn the names of rooms, the furniture and objects as she plays with Maisy. She has a wardrobe of clothes to dress her in and to learn the names of the garments.

Two weeks is a short time, but what a fabulous opportunity for you all. Hope you have a lovely time! My DGS is bilingual and it's such an amazing skill to have.

Ellianne Sat 22-Jun-19 20:55:57

I think Avor2 is right about having some books with words next to pictures. Speaking and listening skills come easily through conversation, songs etc., but if your granddaughter comes back to the UK one day reading and word recognition will help greatly with her learning.

Farmor15 Sat 22-Jun-19 20:58:01

My half-Swedish granddaughter is 3 1/2 and my son speaks to her mostly in English but obviously she is surrounded by Swedish so that’s what she speaks. Like your GD she understands English perfectly, but despite visits back and forth, she didn’t speak any English till recently. I used to read stories, sing songs etc, but she would still talk to me in Swedish- sometimes repeating her request in a louder voice, thinking I must be deaf🙁.

However, on the last visit here, she started using more English words and repeating them after us. It seemed like she finally ‘got’ that we couldn’t understand unless she used the English words and she started enjoying it- like a game.

I’d suggest not doing anything special, just lots of chatting, reading books. If you can find any children of similar age for her to play with, it might help too.

BradfordLass72 Sat 22-Jun-19 22:52:16

I think you have the right idea, especially as she only has two weeks with you.

I'd just add one small thing. Have little flash cards, maybe about the house and then to take home - of things such as the microwave 마이크로파 ; washing machine 세탁기; cushion 쿠션. Google translate will help with the Korean and you can find pictures of anything these days.

There's also a game here on the same principle:

www.studystack.com/flashcard-967272

luluaugust Sun 23-Jun-19 12:53:54

I think some appropriate books etc is a good idea and also try to speak to her in English as much as possible. It is really going to be down to your DS to speak to her at home using English the majority of the time. Our DIL used her language all the time as the GC were growing up and they are completely bilingual. Have a lovely time.

NannyB2604 Sat 24-Aug-19 11:03:41

Thanks all. Well, the visit has been and gone and was mainly successful. DS enrolled DGD on a sports camp for 5 mornings, to help improve her English- not an unqualified success for her as she didn't know anyone and found it hard to communicate with the leaders and other children, but he felt she should do it. The singing songs with her route wasn't very successful (she really wasn't interested) but overall we had a nice time together. She enjoyed baking with me, mowing the lawn with grandpa, a visit to the seaside and lots of other things. And her English is improving. They've now gone home and she's not very happy - crying, saying she misses us, refusing to go to school one day ... Hope she's ok after we go home from our visit in November.

FarNorth Sat 24-Aug-19 11:21:40

I hope it will help DGD to see you as part of her life in Korea, rather than completely separate and different in the UK. flowers

quizqueen Sat 24-Aug-19 11:25:49

Just talk through naturally as you do things with her e.g. laying the table. 'Let's get the cutlery out, where is it? Here's the knife, fork etc. ..put them on the table' and so on.