My Family’s Path to Becoming Quad Lingual
Making resolutions has not always been my thing. I rarely make one and even if I do it ends up being a to do lost for the first week of January. But this year is going to be different due to two reasons. One, I am more excited than I have ever been and two, it involves my toddler son. When it comes to him I never compromise. This year I have decided to learn a new language with him.
I speak English and Tamil at home. Hindi, which I am fluent in is feeling left out because my husband does not speak it. I want my son to have a understanding knowledge of Hindi too. So this year I have resolved to include conversational Hindi and Spanish in my sons vocabulary. Language learning comes easy early. Kids have more ability to learn languages way easier than adults. There are even studies that prove kids learn faster when it comes to their linguistic skills. Noam Chomsky, linguistic professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology earned the Kyoto prize for his work on this subject.
For my son to gain knowledge of these languages it is essential that we converse with him in both Hindi and Spanish at home. So I have decided to study Spanish. Learning Spanish is not going to be a walk in the park. I need time, energy and patience, which is a really tall order since I am a toddler’s mom. But then again this may be the fun thing I was looking to do for a very long time. I am not going to get a language learning software or find a tutor. I am going to learn it in two ways, one is to get a book – I’m going to start by getting the Spanish version of my favourite comics Asterix the Gaul – the other is to watch Spanish simulcast of TV shows, especially cartoons and animation where its pretty easy to understand what is going on. I am also planning to enlist the help of my Spanish speaking friends to guide me through the quest of a new language.
My son has a good vocabulary in both English and Tamil. He looks at me strangely when I sometimes utter a sentence in Hindi. He is a good listener. Reading a lot of books helped him with both English and Tamil. I am planning to read a lot of books in both Spanish (after I learn the basics) and Hindi. There is a very resourceful public library very near our residence, which we plan to take advantage of. My husband has also accepted to learn Hindi. His way to do so is to watch a lot of movies! Hopefully by the end of the year we will be a quad lingual family.