It’s been a while since I last posted. S is now 32 months (2 years and 8 months) and his language skills have come on brilliantly since the start of the year. As well as increased fluency and range of expressions in both languages, on of the main development has been him starting to use a particular language according to the situation or person. Until recently he just used a mixture of Spanish and English in all places with a lean towards more English. Now he is definitely more conscious of the languages being spoken around him, and he is showing a strong preference for Spanish when he narrates his play.
Now at home he rarely uses English and we’ve seen his Spanish vocabulary grow rapidly. He’s a true little parrot, constantly copying what he hears and trying it the sounds. He can repeat back almost any words now, even if it takes him a while to get the sounds in the right order (Guadalajara is particularly tricky!) He’s no longer limited to short simple words but those with several syllables, compound words, little phases and making up his own sentences. He’s also beginning to conjugate verbs correctly in Spanish. Although he no longer calls himself ‘tu’ (you) directly, he still uses the tu form of the verb instead of the first person . He say ‘quieres agua’, literally ‘you want water’, to tell us he’s thirsty, and another funny one is ‘quieres hambre’, literally ‘you want hungry’. He thus comes across as a very polite toddler, always checking what other people want.
It’s interesting to see him swap into English (as we do) when we have English speaking visitors at home or when we are among an English speaking group. One particularly noticeable change is him addressing us as Mummy and Daddy in English. We are always Mamá and Papá at home and occasionally I’m Mummy too but he had never called L Daddy until we had some Australian visitors a few weeks ago, and now he uses Daddy quite often when we are out and about.
When did your toddlers start to understand which languages to use where and when? Does anyone else have a little one who thinks ‘you’ means ‘I’? I’d love to hear your stories!