When we came to Dubai in 2007 from Japan, our then three year old daughter Pristine only spoke Japanese. You can talk to her in English and she’ll be able to understand but she will reply to you only in Japanese. It was quite frustrating and I thought I’m wasting away our money by buying English books in Japan which is costly there.
But the most amazing thing is that kids are like sponges. They absorb everything. They adjust to the new environment, language and culture included faster than adults. I underestimated the learning power of children because only a few weeks after attending an international school here, she has adopted the English language very quickly and even sleep talks in English. It’s like she has kept a special corner for English in her brain after all those years of hearing me speak in English to her while in Japan and knew when to use it when really needed! It’s amazing.
Then came Arabic – which is a subject compulsory to learn here. Look how far she’s come!
She’s in Year 3 right now and it was only a year ago when the school has put more emphasis in Arabic language. She brings home homework and I could not help her with it at all (because I don’t speak, read or write Arabic!) so she does it all by herself.
I am always awed when she reads or speaks Arabic and more so when she writes it! It’s like a secret code only she knows – I bet my father had the same feeling when he saw me doing my homework (in Japanese writing) which I brought from Japan many years ago.