Friday, March 28, 2008

English as a Second Language

We've come to accept that our adopted daughter that joined our family at the age of ten will probably never be truly fluent in the English language and that is okay. There are many people born and bred here that don't have a grasp of English. I know a few. I won't name the states in which they grew up. I'm pretty good at butchering English. My East Texan is pretty good, but I can get pretty tongue tied and make a mess of things. Our President does a pretty good job of butchering it.

But sometimes Callie's take on English is just too funny. Tonight was a great example. We had brown rice, sausage, and black-eyed peas for dinner. She found a hard piece of rice. She asked me what it was and I said it looked like a piece of rice. She responded that she thought is was "a teeth". Of course that led to a discussion on what kind of "teeth" it could be.

Later she was talking to her dad about teeth and tooth and what plural means. She announced she knew the past tense of teeth. We found that surprising. Phil said teeth was a noun. "I know what a noun is! Hair is a noun." So Phil asked her what the past tense of hair was. That stumped her. Phil then explained that verbs have past tenses, but nouns don't.

Then she said the color purple was an adverb.
I almost said that it was a movie and Broadway play but decided against it.
"That would be an adjective" my husband corrected.

English is an incredibly hard language to learn. She has gotten a lot farther (or is it further?) than I would have in five years trying to learn Chinese. I used to get upset when she would butcher something that to me seems so easy and something we say every day, but I'm over it. I admire all the people that study in English as a Second Language classes at varies places in Plano. They are smarter and harder working than I am.

A friend is taking Callie to see "High School Musical on Ice". Thankfully, I don't have to go. I don't know how much English will be spoken by the cast members, but I do know that Callie is so excited she can't see straight. Of course, she also can't remember the name of the event. She just knows it involves "High School Musical" which is enough for her. It could be "High School Musical" in any language on the planet and she would be there.


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Mrs Nespy said...

I can certainly understand why people say that English is one of the two hardest languages on earth to learn. I still have problems with some of it and it has been my sole language for almost 30 years now. Unfortunatly every "rule" in English has multiple exceptions. Then there are the funny things like why the word "phoenetic" does sound like it looks. I think people who even semi-conquer this language are brilliant!