Update on the kids' multilingualism: Upping the English

Our language aim from the start was to have the kids fluent in Japanese and German, plus Thai. We always thought they would pick up English at some point. With our move to Singapore, the time may have come...?

We've moved to Singapore from Thailand and, language-wise, I think the timing couldn't have been better, especially for Engineer (11) and Tigerlily (9).

To give them some continuity of environment, we put them into Japanese school so that the culture shock of moving to a new country wouldn't (hopefully) be so big compared to suddenly moving to an international school. And so far, that seems to have worked fine.

While you might think that the 'community language' would become English, in reality, the children spend their time shuttling between home and school. That means their English exposure continues to come from school lessons, but even that has improved: the kids now have around three hours of English a week instead of the one or two that they had in Bangkok, with the added advantage of being split into classes by skill level.

Tigerlily claims to not particularly like English, especially writing (oh the horror that is English spelling!). She recently learned how to write out Japanese words using roman letters (ABC), which she needed to type Japanese, so that turned out to help with her German reading...but seems to be confusing her with English. (Again, d*$% this crazy English spelling--and I'm a professional English editor!) Ah well, to each their own pace. I hope she finds something she likes to read...

Engineer is doing great. He already had rudimentary reading skills and a little bit of writing, but he's done well in his initial class and I'm happy to learn that he's been bumped up to a more advanced level this term :) He'll need to pass a certain level of English this coming year to qualify for a particular middle school program, so we will need to work on that.

Entropy (5) in the meantime is picking up some English via YouTube and occasionally surprises us by randomly saying some English phrase ('I have a good idea!'). I also think he's trying to pick up things from conversations between Husband and me :)

Their German is also getting a boost lately, so...exciting things in the works!

Cover image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


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