Friday, March 06, 2009

Finally got online..

Recently life seems to be one blur of sorting kids out, half-hearted attempts at stopping night feeds, and carrying on with the daily grind of feeding, washing, cleaning (not the feather duster type but the the sort which has to be done. Otherwise it will be more difficult to remove later or just downright unhygenic: e.g. splattered Weetabix, pee puddles, mud brought in on the soles of shoes).
I was thinking of writing something intelligent about bilingualism as little things I'm noticing have brought the subject to my mind. S has now twice had to ask me what an English word is for a Swedish word he does know. M has always mixed the two languages and quite happily talks to me in Swedish, but only now and again. He often comes out with things the teachers say in what sounds like an accurate impersonation of their accent and tone! Some of the things they say when pushed to limits by the behaviour of the kids are quite funny to hear! They won't be able to get away with anything, M has got it in his memory.
H has been going less often to nursery recently. He's always reluctant and the time to pick him up is often when I feel like lying down, so I let him stay at home. So his use of Swedish at home is limited.
Biryani speaks English all the time, although the odd word picked up from M has been used:e.g.'snälla' which means something like 'please' when begging for something like a biscuit. Otherwise she speaks English with a slight American tone, saying the 'r' in car, and a short 'a' in for example 'class'. Too many cartoons methinks.
Most of the other children we know are from bilingual families, but I rarely hear them speaking their mother/ other tongue, it's usually Swedish. Mine are the only ones who openly use their mother tongue between siblings in public, it appears. Is it the apparent status English has as a language here? Is it because both parents are quite poor at Swedish so they hardly use it at home? Does having TV from the UK rather than Swedish on a larger proportion of the time have an effect? (S groaned when he used to have TV homework where he had to watch something on the Swedish kids TV). It's all quite fascinating to me, but I shall have to stop typing now as Hz is proceeding to find out how electricity works (i.e. attack the computer wires and plugs)!

4 comments:

ummrashid said...

Interesting thoughts. Maybe they are more confident with their identity, and retain many contacts with the UK?

Anonymous said...

Somehow the respect for English may be permeating their subconsciousnesses e.g if they speak English in public the Swedish speaker may often change to speaking in English (although my kids reply in Swedish to them).
Actually the fact Englsh is taught at school from year 3 ,and is now one of the 'core' subjects along with Swedish and maths that are expected to be a certain standard must make a differnce. S is now having equiv of SATS in these 3 subjects this week in fact.
UmmSuhayb

ummihomeschoolsme said...

Assalamu Alaikum Sister,

Pray this meets you well.
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Wsm,
Umm Raiyaan
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UmSuhayb b David said...

Ùmmi. wa aleykumasalam, JazakiAllahkhair