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Thread: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

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    Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    I'm finding it increasingly amusing, how Thai's are seemingly flabberghasted when they hear my daughter speaking a mixture of Engish and Thai.

    They wonder how it can be that she's speaking a language that their own little brats 10 years her senior cannot utter to save their lives.

    They assume we must be on holiday here, and that a child living in Thailand cannot be a natural English speaker.

    They assume she either speaks one language or the other. It's almost as if they resent it.

    For a country that brands the word bi-lingual around so much, Thailand has little true concept of the word.

    As a contrast, back in the west, similar questions were along the lines of, "I assume she's bi-lingual then."

    This coming from fairly unwordly Brits, a culture of people not known for their interest in language aquisition.
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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    It's funny, yesterday I went swimming with my little girl (who can only manage babyspeak at the moment!) when a little kid came up to me by the pool.

    "Where are you from?" he asked politely.

    "I'm from England," I replied "Manchester."

    "Oh yeah? That's the same as my Dad. I'm Frank, nice to meet you!"

    I was a little amazed myself because he was quite dark for a luk-kreung kid and I wasn't expecting it. The other Thai folk about were gobsmacked to hear this little Thai boy having a chat with me and emabarrassed I guess that, despite years of English education, all their own kids can manage is to point and shout "Farang!" as I walk past!

    Nice kid anyway - polite and well-spoken - wouldn't mind a few like him in some of my classes!
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by LDMA
    For a country that brands the word bi-lingual around so much, Thailand has little true concept of the word.
    Aren't they the folk that relocated from Issan and can speak pidgin Thai to go with their pidgin Laos?

    Last edited by defender; 4th December 2006 at 12:35. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Excuse me for not taking this seriously .....

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Polite and his Dad's from Manchester? Must be the Thai influence.
    -----
    Quote Originally Posted by defender
    Aren't they the folk that relocated from Issan and can speak pidgin Thai to go with their pidgin Laos?
    Actually no. A family we met yesterday with this reaction were a seemingly well-to-do Chinese-Thai family eating in Black Canyon in the Hatyai Lotus.
    Last edited by LDMA; 4th December 2006 at 12:48. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    How well can she speak LDMA? Not trying to be rude but Mali is only a few months older then my daughter who we think can only say teddy and daddy!

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Mine is a bit weird....he'll generally only speaks Thai to Thais and English to Westerners....if a Thai tries to speak to him in English he'll usually just blank them.

    Most Thais don't even realise he's Thai as he's so pale and Western looking (lock him in a cupboard most days and plastic surgery is well cheap).

    He don't mix them up either which is quite good.


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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Quote Originally Posted by MeMock
    How well can she speak LDMA? Not trying to be rude but Mali is only a few months older then my daughter who we think can only say teddy and daddy!
    Um...a list? I's pretty huge now. It's accelerated in the last two months in a staggering way. How old is yours now Meemers and I'll try and recall what she was like then.

    Mali can make very basic sentences, mostly along the lines of :

    Daddy's driving, Mummy uhh (poo), Nong shee, daddy's mouse (in fact any number of the 30 or so people/toys she remembers the name of combined with simple words).

    She can say : see you byebye, cook egg, no not now (she doesn't like this one), teddy too (means "I want to see my Andy Pandy DVD"), beach, sea. "Ice, ice baby" means she wants ice out of my drink (and shamefully demonsrates my former appreciation of rapper Vanilla Ice).

    She can count to 10 in both languages and can apply them too...two jingjoks, 3 balls etc. She knows some colours and can apply them to objects, yellow flowers, pink clock etc.
    She knows the words to and is starting to sing simple songs like Teletubbies Theme, Twinkle Twinkle, and Three Blind Mice. She knows and can say and point to most basic body parts....she is especially amused by boobies and eyebrows.

    I'm just starting at very simple ABC's with fridge magnets, but she's only repeating for now and not recognising yet.

    This isn't even starting to cover the full range of words she can say....it's perhaps approaching 100 already, and I've barely mentioned the Thai side which she's just as good at, and in many ways better in terms of her practical speech about feelings and questions (nee arai, ti nai, nong glua, dtok jai,)

    Basically we can just say something to her now and she'll repeat it.

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    How old is she?

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    17 months.
    -----
    I'm assuming it's fairly standard by that age.
    -----
    Apart from the bi-lingual bit.
    Last edited by LDMA; 4th December 2006 at 14:22. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    look out guys... competitive parenting alert...
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    Last edited by fiddler; 4th December 2006 at 14:26. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Originally Posted by LDMA
    For a country that brands the word bi-lingual around so much, Thailand has little true concept of the word.

    Too true sadly. I think a lage part of the problem lies with parents who have grown up with lousy English and can't or won't suport their children's education. Also when my students try to talk with adults who are Thai in English they can often not understand the pronounciation of the adults. Parents are proud when their children know their name and age even when they have been learning for 5 years. Low expectations

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Who's competing or giving advice Fiddler? We're just comparing, and our kids are totally different ages and stages of development. Quite normal.

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Sounds like you've got a bright little nipper. give kids the stimulus, they pick up languages quickly. Let them crawl around the concrete floor for the first 4 years of the life they have all the imagination of a vegetable. Sadly this applies to a large amount of Matayom kids left who having started life as a vegetable, progress onto copying from the board words they cannot read for 10 years and go onto university to pass their knowlege onto the next generation. Bi Lingual, not sure that many thais can speak properly in their own language.

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Quote Originally Posted by peelieorion
    give kids the stimulus, they pick up languages quickly. Let them crawl around the concrete floor for the first 4 years of the life they have all the imagination of a vegetable.
    So that explains it...

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    I know simplistic but sadly in Isaan I see far to many young kids left to play on their own with nothing to make, nothing to stimulate speech or imagination. I wish parents would talk to their kids more and encourage them to speak. Same applies to Thai teachers

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    Re: Thai reaction to true bi-lingual kids

    Here's a great stimulus idea that has done wonders for Mali's speech develpment. I use Picasa to catalogue all my photos, and one day about 6 months ago I decided to make a screensaver compilations out of pictures of her, us, her Thai family, her English family, random pics of animals, even screenshots from teletubbies. At night when she doesn't want to go to bed we stand around my computer and she'll tell me everything she can see in the photos. We're now at the stage where she's not just saying the person or animal in the picture but more details such as her mood, if she's crying or if she's laughing, or what she's wearing or what she's doing.

    I cannot also stress the importance here of access to good childrens TV. In most corners of the west they tell you it will rot their brains, but we have found the total oppositre with Malina. It's helped her language evelopment loads.

    We were recently sent a who little sample pack of CBeebies shows which my Gran saved coupons for in teh Daily Mail. Brilliant stuff. I also downloaded a whole load more ofthem off UK NOva. There's also Baby Einstein, which is a bit seppo but still very valuable.

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