Monday, 11 July 2011

Winter’s sun, and other delightful surprises

Another lovely sun-filled winter’s day; and with temperatures comfortably above 20degrees Celsius, we headed for the beach! It was incredibly warm, even bordering on hot! Tiddler and Sprog joined BigDaddy for a run through the shallows…and made a few friends along the way.
They stopped only to build and count castles in the sand fairly close to the waves. And that turned into a math lesson! We counted the castles and with every wave that leveled some, we made the necessary subtraction and counted the remainder…easy-peasy.
Sprog has always been a people-person, and I’m never surprised when he goes off to join a gathering of children and comes back to report on all the information he has gathered. Today was different, because he made friends with a brother and sister who spoke a foreign language…well, tried to anyway. Upon realizing that they spoke no English, Sprog came to brief me on the situation; I offered the possible solution of introducing himself in Spanish…he wasted no time uttering, very enthusiastically, the few Spanish phrases I knew. This was a moment of pride for me, because for years he refused to acknowledge other languages, and got quite annoyed when I spoke anything other than English!?! Perhaps I am hasty, but I do blame it on the fact that for the past three years we lived in a wee village where nobody uttered sounds in anything other than the English language. Just before we left I had made friends with a Turkish ex-pat whose children were great friends to my two; and this gave us an opportunity to observe other children who are multi-lingual.

Moving back to Cape Town has meant that the boys often hear quite a few different languages being spoken; and that has created a welcomed degree of comfort with ‘foreign’ languages. Tiddler and Sprog have even asked me to read books found at the library that are written in other languages! It’s not that Sprog has suddenly opened himself up to hearing other languages; it is rather that he understands the value of being able to communicate in another language. Pretty profound, I’d say…wouldn’t you?

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