Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sorting Fluency degrees

At the dinner table.
BK1:"I know French better than Arabic. I know German better than French" Pause "I know English better than all!"
Me:"What do you mean? Written, read or spoken languages?"
BK1:"I can speak, read and write English better than all the other languages. I can speak German better than French. My written German is the same as French. Did you know "v"in German is written "w" as in Wickie? I cannot write Arabic. Actually I can write "aa", "baa", "taa", hm "maa" (writing the arabic letters in the air)"
Me:"What do you think of this?"
BK1:"Nothing."
Me:"I think you speak Arabic better than you think you do."
BK1:"Maybe".

This is actually a close assessment of BK1's degrees of fluency. Why did she feel the urge to classify her languages? I felt a slight disappointment in my heart that she realised Arabic was her weakest language. However, I think this is not the whole picture. She is at an age where reading and writing are very important. She assesses her fluency based on her literacy skills in the different languages. This encourages me to carry on introducing her softly to written Arabic.