Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Update: Bilingual Baby

Looking for a fun and easy way to prevent Alzheimer's? to get a good brain workout? to better prioritize brain information? I've got the answer for you! Learn a new language! I kind of already suspected this, but it was nice to see it confirmed in recent research: Crossing Borders in Language Science: What Bilinguals Tell Us About Mind and Brain
(Looking for language lessons for your baby? Check out Mulitlingual Chicago - right in our neighborhood of Logan Square. They've got a great selection of classes for babies, kids, and even adults.)
I have been keeping up with speaking to baby Pupa (now 17 months old) mainly in Italian. Daddy, a.k.a. Papa, speaks to her solely in Italian. Her home daycare provider speaks to her in Spanish. Her brother speaks to her in English peppered with Italian. I had worried that she would be one confused baby, or at least a bit delayed with her first words, but she has been right on track with her language skills! She talks a lot (though like every toddler, she doesn't always make sense!). She understands more complicated commands (i.e. Put the baby dolly in her highchair, put the diapers in the drawer) in all three languages. She asks for "Agua" and has a thing for bilingual Diego (this morning she insisted on carrying her Diego mini-figure with her to daycare). She says many words in Italian, including "Cuore" (heart - she loved the Valentine's Day decor at home), "Ciuccio" (paci), "Babbo" (Santa Claus) and "Eccoci!" (Here we are!); as well as English: Baby, Cookie, Bath. She also invented a word: "MeyMey"(a.k.a. Blanky, her pastel flower printed lovey). She calls me "Mamma", Daddy "PaPa'" and her big brother, "LO-Ne" (short for Fratellone, a.k.a. Big Brother). Her favorite books are I Love You a Bushel and a Peck, Biancaneve (Snow White), L'Ape Felice (the Happy Bee), Goodnight Moon, Elmo at the Pet Shop (read in Italian), and Io Non Porto Piu' i Pannolini (I don't wear diapers, featuring Miss Piggy).
As always, it brings me so much joy and happiness to watch my little baby girl and growing boy blossom both in language and life.
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