Friday, June 09, 2006

English as a second language

I've been speaking a lot of Norwegian lately. It's gotten to be so natural to me - I speak it all day at school, with my neighbors, when I'm picking up the kids from school. I didn't really realize how much Norwegian I was speaking until today, though.

My friend Elizabeth has three kids, all of whom are good friends of my kids. Her two oldest, who are the same age as Anders and Espen have always spoken English with me. Today her youngest, Emma, Johan's good friend, called and asked me in English if it was okay if Johan came over to play. It kind of threw me - because my kids NEVER speak English to me anymore, and here was little 5-year-old Emma doing it.

We used to speak English all the time at home. I remember when my friend Astrid told me that she was so happy, because it only took her kids a few days to pick up their English again when she took them to her parents in England. I couldn't really relate, because my kids spoke English all of the time.

Well, those days are definitely gone. I brought the whole English thing up while we were eating dinner tonight. I told the kids I thought we should all speak English when we are at home, AT THE VERY LEAST. The thing that crushed me was that they had a hard time. Not Espen, I guess he got a good enough dose when he was younger, but Johan couldn't remember how to say table in English, and Anders was also struggling.

That's it - from now on this is an English-speaking household. I am American, and my kids are GOING to speak English like Americans! (I might have to get Gaute to stop speaking English if that is my goal, though....)

1 comment:

TRexALot said...

Are you sure the kids should speak English like Americans?
I don't think that Americans know how to speak English properly----Despite being an "English-only" country. Hehehehe.
We'll get the boys in shape this summer!