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30 September 2017

Japanese Storytime

Miss Kitty(4) grabbed this book off the bookshelf for storytime tonight. These books are much more difficult - I have to have my phone handy for frequent dictionary checks, and once I know the words, I get to explain them to the kids. BUT. More and more I can put part of those explanations in Japanese (yay me!) and usually, with a little bit of pointing and pantomime, the kids can figure out what I'm telling them (yay them!). And the parts I can do in Japanese are growing. It's exciting.

There's so much good in that: my vocabulary is growing and my comfort level with speaking (at least to my kids) is growing. And, which they answer in English still probably 95% of the time when we do this, their receptive language, the Japanese they understand if they hear it, is also clearly growing. This is wonderful: receptive skills precede expressive skills in learning your native language, and I see no reason to expect that it would work any differently in an adopted language. Some exciting milestones happening here!

We didn't read the whole thing; dictionary checks and explanations were still too frequent to get very far in a single sitting. But we read about snow (on the other side of the window), snow that both fell and piled up over night. And we read about putting clothing on: socks and boots, scarves and mittens, and Miss Piglet's favorite coat. And we read about stepping into snow where your foot sinks right down and leaves behind footprints. Japanese has such a beautiful way of describing things. And -and this might be the best part of all- the kids protested when I stopped. Even with needing to pause to look things up, they were still really into it. And so I promised that I'd put it on the schedule for Monday during school.

Pretty darn awesome.

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