How far is too far to push your language?


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desi in ottawa   
Member since: May 04
Posts: 1627
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 09:52:13

How far is too far to push your language on your kids in Canada? Agreed, every child should learn to speak and write their own language. Is there a limit?

We know a family (north Indians) and their younger one is six years, can’t speak or write in English. She is in first grade. Born in Canada and she is unable to speak one small sentence in English. At home they speak in Hindi, which is fine. Outside with the non-hindi speaking janata (such as whites and others), the kid is unable to communicate. We never understood the English she spoke. My kids are horrified wondering how she copes in the school. The kid’s mom complained that she does not have friends in the school. That is understandable since the language is English not Hindi. We gave a small book suitable for KG/first grade kids. This kid was unable to read a simple word such as when, what, etc. and openly said (in hindi) that she cant read English. Her dad said that he would read it to her (translating to hindi). The dad is well educated, mom is graduate from India.

When we thought abt it, seems that the parents have pushed the language too far. The kid is unable to say a simple word as thank you. The parents have to prompt everything (in hindi) such as “uncle ko thank you bolo beta”. Then we found out that the main reason. The mom talks too much (in Hindi most of the time). Incessant talking, I should say. Also they have the hindi channels on TV that’s running all the time.

We feel sorry for that kid. Hope the parents come to their senses. Just speaking in Hindi wont help in real life, in the outside world.



jake3d   
Member since: Sep 03
Posts: 2962
Location: Montreal

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 10:15:51

The kid will probably be fluent in English and Hindi when he/she grows up. In first grade, assuming that he/she has had not other exposure to English, the kid is still picking up the basics of a foreign language. I say this due to the example of my daughter whose French(written/spoken) was extremely limited in first grade, inspite of KG in French. However, now in 3rd grade, she is more comfortable writing and framing sentences in French and I sometimes have to provide English translations for some of the words she uses. Her teachers are taken aback when we mention that we do not speak French at home.

There maybe learning disabilities involved in the example you mentioned but, assuming he/she will continue going to school, I dont think the kid is doomed.


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tamilkuravan   
Member since: Jun 05
Posts: 5775
Location: God's own country

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 10:34:43

What DIO was trying to say was that the child has the possibility of becoming a loner.
If the School did not have some/any Hindi Speaking students in the class, the possibility is that she will not be able to make any friends. She also maynot understand what the teacher is trying to say b'cos she is so poor in English (Unless the teacher specifically works to improve her English). Since Schools in Canada are publically funded, the chances are that the teacher may not give her any attention. To worsen things, they are not speaking English at all at her house.
If i were in DIO's shoes, I would strongly repremand the parents and advise them to take special care of the child.
OTOH, I have seen Sri Lankan first graders speak good english where as their parents know only broken english (Esp. the ladies) but in this case it looks like they had been allowed to mix with people speaking english language from their KG.
Just my views
TK A


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Garvo Gujarati   
Member since: Nov 01
Posts: 3111
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 10:58:37

DIO,

It is only a few weeks the school has started, so it would be too early to say that kid is not doing good in English.

In our own example, we do not speak English much at home. When we immigrated my younger daughter was 6. She never had any problem at school and she is getting A+ in English.

The teachers at the "Publicly funded" Toronto District Schools are giving enough attentions to kids who's first language is not English and have them ESL trained, if needed.

So a concern that a kid not being able to learn English if you do not speak it at home is baseless. In fact in many parent meetings the teachers recommended us that we should communicate to our kids in our own language, as they will learn English automatically, whereas chances of them forgetting your first language are very high. And learning more than one language at early age always help - both academically and professionally.

Toronto district school also offers classes in many Indian languages.


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jake3d   
Member since: Sep 03
Posts: 2962
Location: Montreal

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 11:06:58

Quote:
Originally posted by Garvo Gujarati

So a concern that a kid not being able to learn English if you do not speak it at home is baseless. In fact in many parent meetings the teachers recommended us that we should communicate to our kids in our own language, as they will learn English automatically, whereas chances of them forgetting your first language are very high. And learning more than one language at early age always help - both academically and professionally.




Perfectly put!


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desi in ottawa   
Member since: May 04
Posts: 1627
Location:

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 12:34:03

Points well taken (TK got it right).

Note that this kid was born here in Canada. Canadian by birth. To make matter worse, the mom is ready to fight with anyone anywhere. She herself told us that she faught with the teacher twice (as the school started only 3-4 weeks back). Takes her frustration out on the teacher rather than the husband, I guess.

I agree that though the schools are publicly funded, still teachers make their good effort to teach the kids. Normal six year olds Canadian born, Ontario based kids can identify simple letters/words.

DIO



morning_rain   
Member since: Feb 05
Posts: 1920
Location: British Columbia

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 02-10-06 15:17:20

I have a different view.

It is possible for a young child to pick up multiple languages at once. Why not teach both english and hindi etc? If a child is unable to make friends at a young age due to "language difficulty" even when they are born in Canada, I think it may lead to self esteem or confidence issues.

My own experience has shown me. My parents spoke to us in Punjabi and English. I learned Hindi by watching movies..and today as an adult am fluent in all three languages.


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