Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Language frustrations....

I don't know which is worse--coming to us with no English or coming to us with some and not wanting to speak any Chinese.  I know it's my mindset and expectations, but it still leads to MAJOR frustrations.  

Eliana wants NOTHING to do with Chinese and I think she has lost most of it already.  I also don't think she's progressed much in her English since coming to us so we seem to be at an impasse most days.  She has officially been home 3 months and I honestly don't feel that she understands us any more than day 1 home.  She gets the basic 2-3 year old stuff--eat, bathe, time to go bye-bye; but if we try to explain things to her, like why she was moved out of the girls room for waking them up and that she'll get to move back in when she shows us she's not going to keep waking them up, we get the blank stare or resaying what she thinks she heard which is totally wrong!  A funny one, I told her that one when she could prove to me that she wouldn't wake them up, she said "in one day I'll go back." NO!  We did NOT just move your whole bed for one day.  Or she'll say ok like she understands us but when asked to execute whatever she was told--nothing.  She has refused to listen to someone speak Chinese to her.  I was counting on that as a life line to communicate with her....that I could have someone explain the deeper things to her in her language.  

Today I read aloud 2 kid books for history.  When I finished she asked me, "mama, now do school?"  Huh?  I've been reading for 45 minutes!  That was school.  We do things like picture study (following Charlotte Mason).  It consists of the kids looking at a piece of artwork and telling me what they see.  She just stares.  She can't seem to tell me anything that's in the picture--and I'd take just about anything.  Tell me there's a girl, tell me a tree, just give me some indication you have looked at the picture!  All the others go first and then her, so she's heard 4 other students give their narration.  Nothing.  

I'm not sure how to proceed.  We're a verbal family--with 7 of us there's always talking.  She's surrounded by talking, playing, music, TONS of read aloud--I read aloud about 2 hours a day and baba reads books before bed.  Interesting...she will only listen to the book she picks out, she wanders off when Troy reads a book that Shaoey or Grace chose...hmmm.  When should I be concerned?  When should I consider taking her for an eval?  We're all frustrated.

1 comment:

jeanette said...

I will pray for y'all in this. For what it's worth..Biruk's verbal communication was very similar. Although he had the English words, he just did not seem to comprehend, on a deep level, what we were saying/asking of him...same thing -ask him to repeat and he'd try but usually was way off. He'd say "I understand" or "ok" to please us..but he didn't really understand. :) It probably took him a good year to be able to really understand and process...but we still, 2 1/2 yrs later, have instances where he still doesn't understand things. Definitely give her more time...she's still adjusting quite a bit...for Biruk there was this point where it seemed like things started to "click" and he made huge strides in language. Hopefully you'll see that too!