Thursday, August 14, 2014

Language Acquisition

We are acquiring language in multiple facets of our home right now. Jackson in the print department, Allie in the linguists department, and all of us in the etiquette department.

Jackson is mastering sounds of letters. Just today, I asked him what whale started with and we made a huge leap when he remembered "wah wah" starts with a "w" not a "y!!" This was especially exciting because so many of my first grade students struggled with that when I was a teacher... the "w" sound definitely doesn't make sense, it just has to be remembered (right up there with "y" itself, and "h" and "x" and.... oh the English language.)

Jackson made this awesome sign for Mark (after he was out of town for Brennan's funeral). The best part is his slow reading of it. I'm not sure how much is real, and how much is just slowed speech mimicking, but either are great skills to have when trying to get this print to word thing down. He'll look up and point saying "Wwww-eeee-ll-c--ah-mmmm ...."

 (He was SO proud of how many lines he put on his E. I think I will miss the many-lined-E stage--
so cute!)
 Allie is surprising us daily with new words she has figured out how to pronounce (in her own special way). She uses a great combination of hand gestures and sounds that are somewhat relevant to the word, to get her points across. The spectacle is effective 80% of the time--half of the time amusing, and the other half annoying as she screams and increases her volume. The 20% of the time that we don't understand is quite frustrating for all parties, especially since she won't buy the "Oh really?" response anymore. [Sigh]

Her articulation is rough for us to decipher, let alone other humans. She's starting a little joy school class in September--so we'll see if anyone else can interpret. If Jackson was available, we'd send him as a translator since he confidently tells us exactly what she is trying to say quite often--sometimes he's correct, and sometimes not, but the confidence is assuring to both of them.
To aid her clarity and language we've been trying to wean her from the binky.

The weekend was a little rough, so I caved in a ton, hence why I yelled to Mark to cut the tips of the little things right before bedtime last night. Mark was not thrilled to be given this task last minuet. Allie took it in decent stride (almost following exactly what Jackson did when his were cut) but Jackson was very upset about the whole thing. He had tears in his eyes as I went to put everyone back in bed last night. "But mom, how can we fix her binky? What about the new baby? How will he have a binky?" Oh it was hilarious and sweet.  Allie was perplexed by it most of the day, checking on them and making sure they were still "boke"--but I feel like she seemed like a more carefree person. Perhaps that bink was tying her down. Hopefully it allows her language to fly free.

Allie does have most of her body parts and animal sounds down, which serve as great distractions whenever we need one. I took this video last week, and she definitely doesn't get most of these questions as she mimics the last word of every question, but she is getting better every day, and mimicking is stepping us toward better articulation... a good place to be!

Oh my goodness. I love how she eats toast!

 With all the acquiring of language, we are still working hard to acquire nice language. Don't these kids just look amazing in this picture? I was grateful for my awesome helpers this weekend, but I must say we are working hard on not being rude (to each other and strangers).

I'm thinking I should have Jackson make some banners that say "Please" and "Thank you" and we can put them around the house to practice reading them (slowly). If Jackson did it, it would likely rub off on Allie which may eventually create more opportunities to remember saying them--for all of us.  Hmmm... this language stuff could be a good thing.

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