Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spanglish and Other Language Issues

Cupcake has a very good mastery of English. Isn't that crazy? And wonderful?

In one year, she has really grasped the language structure. I am amazed...especially with her hearing loss. We still misunderstand much of what she is saying, but it is almost exclusively mispronounciation or speed-talking.

The other day, we noticed that she has started talking really fast. She speaks English with a Spanish cadence - especially when she is chewing us out. ;-)

A couple of months ago, we took her to the Special School District here in town to have her evaluated for speech therapy. She needs to get her speech as mature as possible as soon as possible, in case she ever loses her hearing all together. So after several tests, they discovered that she was really only missing three sounds that normal 5-year-olds should have - if they were born here and English was their native language. She is not eligible for benefits even though she has documented hearing loss and English is a second language. Go figure. Why do we pay taxes anyway?

We do not speak Spanish at our house. We tried to do the best we could when Cupcake was first home, but after several weeks, she knew the English words for all the Spanish words I know. So, we gradually phased out most of the Spanish, since I was butchering the language anyway. But somehow, some Spanish words have hung around. Most because they are easy and we still use them...bano (Arg! I can't do a tilda!), leche, huevos, and pijamas. But I have no idea why she still says trabajo for "work".

It's so cute when she says "use" because she pronounces it "ooze", as in "Mommy, can I ooze your hairbrush?"

"Umm...I'm not sure, Honey."

Cupcake does not want to hear Spanish AT ALL. Friends at church will try to talk with her. She turns her head and walks away. She hears people at Walmart talking, and frowns. When she first came home, we had translators for various doctors appointments. She would completely shut down and go to her own little world when they began to speak to her. I don't know if she grieves all she has lost or if she wants no reminder of the past. I hate for her to lose her ability to be bilingual, but I know it is too much for her right now, so we are letting the Spanish go until later. I have known other adopted kids that completely lost their native language, to the point of flunking basic high school classes, even though they came home as older kids (6-10 years old).

Cupcake has been working on pronouns for quite a while now. Several months ago, puppy was licking her face and she was having a fit. When I asked what the matter was, she answered...

"Him eat him own poop!"

I'll leave you with that.

Blessings to you,

1 comment:

Deb said...

just to share- Bug refused to listen to Spanish when he first came home, about 18 months later we started watching Dora and Diego and Spanish has come back into our lives. I am hopefully for you and cupcake that her first language comes back to her.

Love and hugs,