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About This Blog

This blog is for anyone interested in raising their children in a foreign language--meaning a language which neither of the parents speak natively.
We have used the approach where both parents speak the target foreign language (in our case, German) to the children. Neither of us is a native German speaker, yet we have spoken German in our home for the past 20 years and have 8 German speaking children. In this blog, we hope to share our successes, our lessons learned and a few of the insights that we've gained along the way.

Sloaterboat, motorboat

I came across a fun video from last summer. At the time of this video, Jonathan was 5 (almost 6) and the twins, Simon and Clarissa, were 4 1/2. We had just been at swimming lessons where the instructor had said the following rhyme while twirling them around in the water:
Motorboat, motorboat, go so slow.
Motorboat, motorboat, go so fast.
Motorboat, motorboat, step on the gas.
The kids loved it, because when she "stepped on the gas", she spun them super fast in the water. On the way home from swim lessons, they all were practicing the motorboat poem. I could tell they didn't really understand the words. I don't think Simon knew what a motorboat was and I don't think any of them understood, even remotely, what "step on the gas" meant. But they LOVED their swimming instructor and they loved the motorboat activity, so they really wanted to learn the poem. It was fun to observe how they each wanted to say the English motorboat poem. Jonathan, who is the oldest, was the "English speaking authority", so he was able to correct his little siblings. It was cute that he corrected them, even though he also didn't really know how to say the words. It was interesting that he put in the German word "Step on auf gas." They are all anxious to learn more English, but are much more comfortable using German.


Mike said...

Ha. That's pretty neat. I'd need a version in Spanish for our daughter, but it's always fun to hear different little ditties like these that kids take to.

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