Wednesday, January 12, 2011


At 2.5 years of age, Martin already recognizes the numbers (0-9) and the letters of the English alphabet (I give the full credit to his baba). In random order, when we show him a letter or number or when we write one, he would say which letter/number it is ([ei] for A, [es] for S, etc). And unlike me, he would not hesitate between the names of G and J (sometimes I still do).
Also, today before bedtime he wanted us to draw on his dry-erase white board. After I drew a few things, I asked him to draw. I asked for a leaf and I got a pretty good shape, I asked for a circle and got not a bad one, which later he said is not a circle but an apple. I asked if he can draw a krokodil(crocodile) and he said "Yes! Kro-ko-dil." at which he drew a "/" for each syllable as he was pronouncing it. And then he said "tuka pishe krokodil" ("here it says crocodile") - that is, he knew he did not draw it, but wrote it.
I tried a few more concrete and then abstract nouns and correctly got the verbal separation of syllables and relevant number of slashes on the white board. Even for snejen chovek (snowman), I heard the separated syllables "sne-jen-cho-vek" and saw him simultaneously write 4 slashes on the board. He correctly separated in syllables and slashes on the white board Ve-ne-zue-la, E-ze-quiel (the name of his uncle), te-rri-fic (even though it was a new (English) word for him), the names of everyone in the family, a few more Bulgarian and Spanish words. The only one he had trouble with was boligrafo (I don't think he had heard this one before) - he could not even repeat it correctly - came up as loligano or something of that sort.
And, on a side note, he wrote the slashes in right-to-left order as in Arabic :) (even though he was writing with the right hand).
He is extremely interested in decoding written text. When the credits of a movie start rolling on the screen he would pay close attention and occasionally say “Here is diado’s letter (for S), here is mommy’s letter (for D), here is U, here is A, here is daddy’s letter (for I)”… Today he correctly spelled Old Navy even reading it upside down on the T-shirt he was wearing.
My mom just asked me what language she should start teaching him to read in. I am currently (not) reading (i.e. trying hard to find the time to read) 'The Multilingual Mind’ by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinoza and I find the answer there to be the minority language. And since my mom cannot teach him Spanish, he is left with Bulgarian. So, Cyrillic is next on the schedule!