He's a real talker

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Little Buddy is proving himself to be very adept at picking up new words. His vocabulary expands at a rate of 2-3 new words every other day. He seems to have a healthy curiosity towards people and things around him. He likes to point at an interesting object or picture while asking in a lilting voice "What that?". If he deems the answer interesting enough, he will deign to repeat the word after you. We notice too that he listens to what people around him are saying, sometimes even without your knowledge. He might be playing nearby, seemingly engrossed in his toys but many times, he surprised us by suddenly uttering a word that someone had just spoken.

His first spoken word is DUCK at 15 months, followed by his first two-syllable word RABBIT on the same day. These were some toys that he played with at that age. Then two days thereafter, he started asking for his favourite fruit BU-BERRY (blueberry) which is his first three-syllable word. He quickly progressed on to others like BREAD, BOOK, BABY and even embarked on two-word phrases such as NO MORE and KEEP IT till by Christmas 2007, he was wishing our relatives and friends MERRY CHRISTMAS.

At home, although our dominant language is English, we also speak a smattering of Mandarin at times to expose our sons to the language. Little Buddy spoke his first Chinese word 花 at 17 months and this was followed by a two-word phrase 再见 at almost 10 months.

Since then, it has been full speed ahead for Little Buddy. We do not adopt any recommended teaching method per se, choosing instead to cater to Little Buddy's natural curiosity and desire to learn. We take time to introduce new things to him, saying the word for them and having fun at the same time. We do not use babytalk with our children but consiously speak using proper adult language at all times even when they were infants.

Little Buddy now has a vocabulary of about 200 words and is starting to speak in phrases. He sings to himself as he plays with an almost funny mixture of words and sounds to a self-made-up tune. Watching him at play can be quite entertaining.

Today marks another milestone. He uttered his first sentence - "Jie Jie sit in bus" when he saw a picture of a girl in a school bus. Although the sentence is grammatically incorrect, I am just so amazed at his pace of language development.