Our Misadventures in Language Learning: A Guest Post at All Done Monkey

Misadventures in Language Learning - Mud Hut Mama

Happy New Year! We are back from our holiday in Botswana and we had a wonderful Christmas with Granny and Gramps that I’ll write more about later but I’m finding it’s really taking me some time to settle back into the swing of things at home. I’m thrilled that I have a couple of guest posts this week that were written before we left and have given me a little time to ease myself back into homeschool and this blog.

Leanna at All Done Monkey has recently welcomed her littlest monkey into the world. To give her some extra time with the newest member of her family she is running a series of guest posts. I love her site and was excited to have another opportunity to guest post there – you might remember her Random Acts of Kindness series that the girls and I participated in. Since Leanna and many of her readers are raising their children bilingual I chose to write about our misadventures in language learning in hopes of getting some advice. Please click over to see what we have done to try to learn both Chichewa and French and to find out what our humorous results have been – it will explain the quote in the photo above. I had wonderful visions of the girls and I learning French together but we have been so unsuccessful that I am considering giving it up and trying to teach them Spanish instead. While Spanish might not be very useful in Africa, at least it is a language I can speak and expose them to. I really want my children to learn a foreign language from a young age but I’m struggling to figure out the best way to go about it. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me. I’m all ears!

Wishing you all the very best in 2013!


About Jody Tilbury

10 Responses to “Our Misadventures in Language Learning: A Guest Post at All Done Monkey”

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  1. Amanda says:

    🙂 So glad to read another post–your little ones are beautiful!

  2. Thanks for giving me some time off! And what better way than with this post, which is truly laugh out loud funny! Glad you had such a great trip. Enjoy settling back in, then we can’t wait to read all about it!

  3. I always seem to need vacation-after-vacation! Hope you get back into your rhythm soon. And your girls are beautiful!

  4. I’m so glad you had a lovely time in Bostwana. Off to read your post!

  5. Penny says:

    A holiday in Botswanna, nice. So nice to hear you had a good time. I’m glad you’re back (no pressure) but I’ve missed your posts! I’m looking forward to the guest post though. I love finding new blogs to follow!

  6. Jen Fischer says:

    This is something I struggle with too. My husband is bilingual, but my Spanish is very basic so that makes it hard to do much at home with the boys. I really want to figure out how to make it work, though!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I would so love to visit Botswana – sounds like a lovely time.
    When we were in Albania, I did put some effort into supporting the kids’ language learning even though I was learning it at the same time (boy was 2 months, girl was 2 years when we moved there). We used a fun computer program that she liked, and he learned a lot from our Albanian nanny – it felt to me like he was learning both languages simultaneously at about the same rate, but he would definitely use more Albanian with her and more English with me. Anyway, as a result I totally dropped the Spanish I had been using with them before the move. Interestingly, my daughter seems to remember some of it now that we are in Colombia. I haven’t been doing as much as I should or would like to – despite the fact that I am bilingual, and my parents have been visiting us for 2 months and they are both bilingual (my mother is a native Spanish speaker). We still tend to default to English. They are both starting preschool in Spanish next week and I anticipate that they’ll learn much faster once immersed in it, with other children (I’ve heard, and it seems to be true, that kids learn language from peer interaction much faster than from formal instruction). Videos seem to work better for my daughter than for my son. My daughter was picking up some Russian (!) from some YouTube kids’ videos we were watching for awhile!
    I love the little story with the quote 🙂 Adorable!

    • Jody Tilbury says:

      Thank you Elizabeth. I think you are right about learning from peers and I’m hoping the next place we end up will have more opportunity for that. I’m sure your kids will pick up Spanish quickly once they start preschool (that is so cool that they are able to attend a local preschool by the way!) and I’m definitely going to be spending more time with my girls on YouTube.