Language switch

Chloe is, at her 2 years and 5 months, almost perfectly bilingual – there are some words that she mixes up but mostly out of laziness (and some that mpampá makes up too!).

I would say her first language is English, since that’s the one she uses when talking to herself, or babies and pets! But probably her Spanish is more advanced – definitely her grammar is.

The latest thing I’ve noticed though, is a context switch between the languages!!

She will be playing with her babies, speaking English, and talking in the first/second person: “Come here baby, I’m making some food you don’t cry”, and suddenly she’ll switch to Spanish because I’m around, but uses the third person! “The mami is going to Tesco’s and the baby is sleeping”

So I’ve decided to call them the pretend language and the narrating language 😁


Caring / Cuidando

Chloe has been really into looking after her dolls lately. Feeding and breastfeeding them, taking them for walks on their pushchair, putting them to sleep, and even bringing them along to our different activities and shopping!

The cutest thing happened yesterday. She was playing with her boy doll, and speaking English to him too! It went like this:

* Sits doll on the potty *

– Whoa poopoo. Wipe!

* Storms off to her room to find a cloth wipe *

– Done. Wait, mami wipe water. (To me) mami, agua toallita (water wipe).

* I wet the wipe and give it back *

– Whoa clean poopoo wipe. Done! Wipe bin.

* Puts wipe in wipe bin *

Últimamente Chloe está cuidando a sus muñecas muchísimo. Les da de comer, pecho, las pasea en el carrito, las acuesta, y se las trae a las actividades y a comprar!

Ayer hizo una cosa graciosísima. Estaba jugando con su muñeco, y le hablaba en inglés:

* Lo sienta en el orinal *

– Whoa poopoo. Wipe! (Guau, caca. ¡Toallita!)

* Sale corriendo a su cuarto a por una toallita de tela *

– Done. Wait, mami wipe water (Ya. Espera, mami toallita agua). (A mí) mami, agua toallita.

* Mojo la toallita y se la doy *

– Whoa clean poopoo wipe. Done! Wipe bin. (Guau limpiar caca toallita. ¡Ya! Toallita cubo)

* Echa la toallita al cubo *

Abstractions / Abstracciones


This is not at all my own idea; I first read about it in a Montessori article, and although I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time it has definitely stuck because it makes sense!
Say you’re new to the world. Or maybe you’ve lived in a basement all your life, or you’re an alien.
Now imagine someone is trying to help you understand what a “cat” is. You will probably agree that looking at cats, and possibly petting them, is the easiest way to go about it.
After that, a photograph or a video will probably be the next best thing. Or maybe a sculpture or a fluffy toy. They are abstractions, representations of the cat, but still similar enough to get some idea.
Now imagine someone shows you this:


Do you think you would have a clue of what a cat is?
So in the first few months I ignored this – in a way, Chloe’s world was so small than there was no point in showing her what a cat is anyway. But recently, once she started paying attention to Pixie and Dixie and other cats, I remembered this and I now mostly show her books with photographs. And we only ever watch videos of animals! And she recognises them 🙂
On a side note, yes, the book is in Greek as Chloe is a trilingual baby!
Antes de nada, que quede claro que esto no es idea mía. Lo leí hace tiempo en un artículo de Montessori y, aunque en el momento pasé de ello, algo se ha debido quedar porque tiene mucho sentido!
Imagínate que eres nuevo en este mundo. O que has pasado toda tu vida en un sótano oscuro, o que eres un extraterrestre.
Pongamos que alguien te quiere ayudar a comprender lo que es un “gato”. Seguramente estarás de acuerdo conmigo en que la forma más fácil sería llevarte a ver y tocar gatos.
Lo siguiente, seguramente una foto o un vídeo, o una escultura o un peluche realista. No dejan de ser abstracciones, representaciones del gato, pero siguen siendo lo suficientemente parecidas para darte una idea.
Ahora imagina que para enseñarte lo que es un gato te muestran esto:


No creo que tuvieras ni la más remota idea de lo que realmente es un gato.
Los primeros meses pasé bastante de esta información ya que, al fin y al cabo, su mundo era muy reducido y no tenía sentido enseñarle lo que es un gato. Una vez que empezó a echarles cuenta a Pixie y Dixie y a otros gatos sí que me he centrado en libros con fotos y si vemos algo es un documental con animales.
Y los reconoce 🙂
Por cierto, el libro está en griego porque Chloe es un bebé trilingüe!