Francesca is a 33 y/o energetic Mum of two and Perinatal Psychologist. Graduated in Psychology, she currently writes scientific articles, give lectures and professional advices about Pregnancy and Post Partum. Oh, she’s also creating an amazing Quiet Book with her little one. (Soon we’re going to discover more about it!)
♦ How old is your child? Which is his/her mother tongue? Which second language have you decided to introduce your child?
My daughter Olivia is 6 years old. She is Italian and speaks only this language, therefore I see the importance to help her learning English.
♦ Why do you think it’s important to her to learn another language? Why English in particular ?
I’m sure that English is the future. It’s because of many factors: the new generation is always more cosmopolitan, half of my daughter’s classmates are Italian and the other half come from abroad. Only a universal language can break down the barriers. This universal language already exists: it’s English!
♦ When did your child start to learn the Second Language? How is she learning it?
Olivia started to learn English at the Pre-school, thanks to a good public project. Currently, at Primary school, the competence with which a Foreign Language is taught, is unfortunately inadequate. The teacher doesn’t have the right competences to teach English. On the other hand, this is not her fault, but the Italian public educational system’s, that should definitely be improved. To solve this and really learn English it was necessary to begin an after-school private course in the afternoon.
♦ Which are the benefits and difficulties your child has shown? Have you already seen some results, at home, in the daily life? If yes, which ones?
The major difficulty is to keep the English she’s learning at a good level, since that she can’t really practice it in the daily life at home.
I can definitely see everyday the results of her learning; she’s enthusiastic to express the same concepts she expresses in Italian in another language, and often she surprises us naming some objects in English instead of using her mothertongue!
Today there’s been a really touching moment, when just before going to sleep, she asked me to correct the spelling of some words below the pictures she studied at class. I was deeply moved because she wrote them exactly how you pronounce them (“stach in de dour”=stuck in the door, “areoplein”=areoplane, “vaiolin”=violin). She wanted me to correct them, but the truth is, that they were right and perfect just the way they were. At her age, the learning of the pronounciation and remembering the words are way more importamt than the written grammar… and this will take her literally further!
♦ How does your child learn best? Which is your child’s favourite resource (song, story, book, puppet, game, etc.)?
Surely she loves all the songs that her teacher taught her. And also storybooks, especially those with rhymes.
♦ Can you remember a memorable experience that he/she lived in a Second Language?
Oh yes! I’m sure it’s the super English Camp that she attended last year, the one organized by her teacher. The topic was the ecosystems: every day she and her friends explored a different part of the world through several activities, role-plays, songs and DIYs. The experience was really amazing (for her mum too!). When she thinks back to those days, she feels nostalgia. I deeply hope we’ll make it, next summer, to organize another memorable English camp!