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Opening Doors for Children & Families

Two Peas In A Pot

I have a very dear friend named Chantal, who is one of the most intelligent, kind and caring people I know. I can feel her cringing right now because she knows now is when I begin to tell a funny or somewhat embarrassing story about her. But before I do that I just want to reiterate how intelligent Chantal is, she works as a medical professional, has a Master's degree = she's SMART.

Despite Chantal's intelligence, she has a major hard time with colloquialisms. Chantal would try to use them in her everyday language which would usually end up in a laughing fit from me as 99% of the time they were incorrect. I vividly remember her saying to me lovingly one day "Christi, we are like two peas in a pot!"

Through my fits of laughter I said "POD! We are like two peas in a POD!"

She would giggle and say "Well that doesn't make any sense."

"WHAT??" I would say to her, "Yes it does! A pea pod! We are like two peas in a pea pod!" She would always dispute the correct way and insist that her way made better sense.

Chantal (and her Mom) blamed this on the fact that Chantal was raised in a home where they spoke two languages. I have a hard time believing this as her brothers were also raised in this home and don't seem to have the same problem. I would tend to blame this on the fact that her Mom uses the same incorrect colloquialisms - seems a little more plausible explanation to me. I have actually heard her mom say "two peas in a pot" CASE CLOSED.

But language acquisition is so interesting to me. Unfortunately I do not speak another language, even though I supervise the ABC Head Start Francophone site, but the students in our program learning multiple languages always amazes me!

Two weeks ago when some of the ABC Head Start staff were out at training I was filling in in the classroom. We were singing Ba Ba Black Sheep. One of the little girls who is learning english was singing very loudly and with great enthusiasm. These were the lyrics the little girl was singing: "Ba Ba Black Sheep have you any war, yes sir yes sir three bags four." Now in the little girls defensive, much like Chantal's, these words probably make much more sense to her.

At ABC Head Start we often work with families who are new to Canada or who are wanting their children to strengthen their english skills. The tale of two or three or four or more languages in a home. And what does the research say? Multiple languages are FANTASTIC! But parents must remember to use the one THEY are strongest in when speaking to their children. That way they provide a good language model. When children have a strong foundation in a language, any language, it is much easier for them to learn other ones. Maybe parents and children can even learn a new language together!

What are the common expressions you misuse, or better yet what are the common expressions your friends misuse?? :)

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