Sign language

March 11th, 2008

My daughter came home from Spanish class one day last week and plastered signs all over the house. Seeing them everywhere has really shed some light on things.


Over at my friend Shawn’s new review blog, The Chunky Purse, she talks about a Spanish-immersion DVD set for teaching language to young children, and it sounds pretty neat. Eight years ago, we didn’t have that, we had something else.


One of Georgia’s first words was “awa” for water. Whether she was speaking Spanish or speaking English, who can tell. We congratulated ourselves for the clever good fortune of having a babysitter who could not only put Georgia down for a nap, but speak Spanish while she did it.


How we all wish we could lock-in these predispositions. We see the astonishing development of our babies and toddlers – their seemingly effortless learning – and what we might overlook is the amount of practice they put in. From where I sit now I view it all a bit differently than I did then.


Every day from birth to age one or so they practice mobility. Every day from age one to two and beyond they practice language. Without maintaining that level of constant practice, nothing gets very far off the rug.

Now I can see that if Georgia acquired any Spanish aptitude at all during her toddlerhood it wasn’t because of the words her nanny spoke, but because of the love in that sweet woman’s mother tongue.


I’m tired of having cards taped all over the house, but love is one language we could all use more practice speaking. And for that, the signs really help me.

5 Comments »

  1. a beautiful lesson, thank you.

    Comment by Wendy — March 11, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  2. And, it’s a sign of love that you continue to tolerate the signs!

    Comment by Mama Zen — March 11, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  3. This sign caught my eye today on the wall of a local school: “Confia en ti mismo. Es la primer paso al exito. Confia en ti!”

    Comment by Jena Strong — March 11, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  4. MZ: exactamente.
    Jena: Lo amo!
    Wendy: Why worry when we have online English-Spanish translations?

    Comment by Karen — March 12, 2008 @ 2:48 am

  5. beautiful.

    Comment by Shelli — March 13, 2008 @ 1:37 am

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