. Regurgitated Alpha Bits: ¿Que?

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Question: If a student only speaks English, however understands some Spanish, and his mother speaks and understands Spanish only, how do you imagine they communicate with each other?

She can't understand the only language he speaks, and he can't speak to her in the only language she understands.

I'm perplexed.

What are your thoughts?


Jane said...

It is interesting, isn't it? The class I student taught in had a little girl whose parents were both deaf and used sign language. My master teacher and I noticed how the little girl would often turn her back when she didn't want to "hear" something. Mind you, both she and her sister, interestingly enough, both had perfectly normal hearing, but at home, if they turned their backs on their parents, then, of course, they couldn't see their hands and thus couldn't "hear" them. I have had students who seem to have no language...meaning they don't know the Spanish their parents speak, yet, they don't know the English being used in the school, either. Very frustrating, and heartbreaking. I didn't answer your question...but maybe lots of hand motions and a little bit of Spanglish?

Mom not Mum (Sandy) said...

How does that happen? It seems so strange that a child wouldn't automatically pick up the language that was being spoken to them. I mean, we lived in England and my daughter spoke in an English accent with her friends, and it was THICK. I'm assuming the child's father speaks English? Then again - my uncles 4th wife only spoke Spanish and he only spoke English and they were married longer than any of his former marriages. Something to be said about that I'm sure.

Charles said...

I'd guess the same way we communicate with our pets... Or my cats anyway. It is indeed a perplexing thought.

Anonymous said...

You'd be surprised at how much they really do understand. The parent understands more English than she is letting on and the child understands more Spanish than he is letting on. Also, communication is 80-90% body language;a lot is conveyed this way.

Edna Lee said...

Good points, Anonymous. Thanks!