Wednesday, June 19, 2013

from the library :: my circus

holler holler! after months of renovation, the singapore central library is ready for little kiddos.. welcoming them with a snazzy new children corner. you've gotta see it yourself.. but its done so nicely it reminds me of a indoor play area! 

we took blake there on a weekday afternoon and it wasn't too busy even thought we're right smack in the middle of school holidays! blake especially like the faux grassy patch under the tree house and the current cardboard exhibition (for kids!).. tonnes of hands-on fun. 

but not to detract from the true reason why we were at the library...

here's this week's pick - my circus by bloomsbury.

with tonnes of interactive and colorful pages, baby blake loves it when his amma makes funny sounds to go with each page. (i secretly love it too. i often stand by the doorway and giggle at the silliness!)

recently, i read this article online about introducing multiple languages. which got me thinking... im not sure what the "right" thing to do...

growing up, we spoke both languages at home. so all three of us kids could switch between languages quite easily. i wouldn't say our language skills were particularly brilliant but we made it through school. and can still use both languages fine... but i'd never willingly pick up a chinese book to read.
on the other hand, the husband is fluent in english and japanese (picked it up in high school), they only speak english at home.. he also picked up spanish in college and is starting to learn mandarin quite easily. so i guess it can be done either way.

what languages do you speak and how did you learn it?
was it hard?
with babies... better now? or later?

p.s. i started wanted to share cute pictures of our book and it morphed into a little rant! :)



  1. I speak Indo to my little one and my husband speaks English, this is so that when he can finally talk, he'll have 2 languages already under his belt. There have been studies that shows children who are exposed to different languages growing up will be able to pick up new languages a lot easier than those who don't. I personally think that there are no disadvantages of being able to speak in different languages. I regret that my grandmother didn't speak Dutch to my generation :)

    1. i like that they would (hopefully) be able to speak to their grandparents!! that would be the BEST THING! :)

  2. theoretically, a child is born a "blank slate" and should be able to pick up languages that he/she is spoken to - or taught - from birth. but of course, this has to be a language that is used frequently. since our children will most likely be schooled in the English language, you can be pretty sure their grasp of that will be pretty good, if not excellent, because of the environment they'll be immersed in. I know as far as possible, I'll be speaking to my kids in Mandarin/Cantonese from birth because I might as well take as much advantage of the fact that they're sponges at that young age :)

    1. y'know i picked up (smatterings of) cantonese from TV? :) i'll be watching those soap operas with blake when he is old enough! :)

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  4. I'm effectively multi-lingual. My father spoke to me in English growing up, my mother spoke to me in Mandarin, Cantonese and Hokkien, I learnt Malay during the years I spent in Singapore and French when I lived in Canada. As an adult, I learnt German. I can still hold conversations fluently in at least 4 languages so, it isn't bad at all.

    It's never too young to begin, the younger the better. Learning two languages or more as a child teaches them alot of non-linguistic skills e.g. how to sort and catagorise, listening skills among others.

    1. very amazing!!! let this be inspiration for little blake! i'd be thanking my lucky stars if he can order noodles for me in mandarin! :)

  5. I learnt about language learning in my TESL training and theoretically speaking and research proves that the more input you give, the easier they pick up. Like another said earlier, children are a blank slate esp. towards languages. Input means - the more exposure to the language, the easier for them to pick up because for now they are absorbing, learning, taking all in and soon when they start talking you'll hear all kinds of words he picked up on from his surrounding.

    Want him to learn other languages? I would recommend speaking the languages to him and around him or surround him with cartoons or whatsoever (reading to him will do too!) in other languages that you want him to learn.

    Basically research shows that after puberty it takes more effort to learn a language :) because of all the other disturbances or other things that takes away their attention from learning languages.

    Hope this helps you understand a bit more!


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