How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
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Welcome to the journey!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Helping your child transition to English

Well, I have wanted to do a post on language for a while. I have finally gotten around to it.

When our boys came home they were 3. At three a child knows a lot of language and ours were HIGHLY verbal, and one quite verbose. K used complex language of a child much older (age was correct) and N used a sort of "country bumpkin" sort of speech, very cute to those who could understand it (at the guest house and drivers, etc.). They would both look to us and chatter on about whatever or ask for what they needed, in Amharic. We learned fast some key phrases to say and hear.

*Here are some of the things we did to communicate while in transition (in ET and for about 2 weeks home):
  1. picture cards/with Amharic phrases and words written on them so we could show them the picture say the Amharic and English word. 
  2. We also used a phrase and word list see this post:
*Once we were home we continued with these practices and added some other things. Because the boys were so verbal, I knew they could transfer to a higher level of English than I expected. So, I did ELL/ESL games with them for the basics: Colors and familiar items. (2 weeks home to about 3 months home)
  1. We played a lot of memory games to use words items they were likely familiar with and learn the new word.
  2. We read those baby books that have one picture on a page with a word. Trucks, Animals, Toys, Food, Etc.... I would say books with only one picture on a page are the very best, not confusing. There was lots of snuggle time with that too, and so it was fun for all of us.
  3. Using deliberate speech. Please give mommy the blue cup on the table. Please put your white socks in the dirty laundry basket. Go get your red dog from your room. The more descriptive and intentional the language the better the learning. 
  4. loads of play time and reading time
  5. Talking about everything with descriptive language. I got tired of talking.
  *Then as they got a bit more familiar I introduced letters and numbers. Thees are some of the things I used that worked best In addition to the games and books mentioned above: (three months home to about 1 year home).
  1. Leap Frog videos, games and toys (keep to the Preschool variety at first)
  2. Picture flash cards for numbers and letters (play games with these)
  3. picture dominoes (basic items like fruits or colors)
  4. number dot dominoes
  5. singing kids songs, especially ones with actions
  6. finger games and hand play rhymes and songs
  7. seek and find
  8. 20 questions, I'm thinking of a ____________ (give category)
  9. First Word cards (these have pictures and are great not just for reading but for what is this thing called). 
  10. matching games and sorting games
* Some other suggestions I have heard from parents and what they liked are:
  1. Language Wizard series
  2. Cool Cards (picture cards for learning items)
  3. brain games
  4. facial expressions cards to learn feeling words (this is a useful thing to work on, whatever method you use to teach it).
You can find many of these things at any regular game section or school supply section at Target or Walmart. You can also find them at specialty stores like those stores where Grandma buys gifts. A great place to find everything is at a teacher supply store.  I even found some great things at Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls. You may even have luck in the education section of Toys R Us, they have a great selection of Leap Frog.

Here are some online resources, check out Preschool, Early Child Development, creative play, readiness skills, language arts, language:|/Assortments/Lakeshore/ShopByCategory/language/viewall.jsp

Remember it is NOT how much your child knows but how much your child knows you love him or her. In our culture it is easy to get caught up in how much your kid knows but it all comes......... no need to push. Love on him or her and they will have the confidence to learn. These suggestions are for FUN. It is important to keep perspective.

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The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
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