Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What is "Tongue-Thrust" in Spanish?

In Andy's preschool, they have Spanish class every Wednesday. I think it is useful to learn new languages, especially since I have a difficult time with it and the world is full of people who do not speak English. Unfortunately, I failed to consider the issues my own child might have with learning a different language.

To be honest, Andy has very little trouble with language, so I didn't think much about it at all. It is the speech that is the trouble- articulation. Why wouldn't I think, if he has trouble articulating in English, that he wouldn't have trouble articulating in Spanish?

Lately, he has been very upset about going to school on Wednesdays, because he doesn't want to do Spanish or Music, his two Wednesday specials. So I have doing a lot of trying to pull out of him why he doesn't like Spanish or Music. And this morning, I got some answers. Apparently his little friend thinks singing is "yucky" and Andy is upset about that, because he likes music, but he doesn't like his friend saying that the songs are yucky. And then there was Spanish.

"Worth er yucky."
"The Spanish words? You don't like the Spanish words?"
"Why don't you like the Spanish words? What words have you learned?"
{Tangle of sounds that included, I think, "Spanish", "pretend", "words", "don't like", "yucky."}
"Spanish isn't pretend. It is a real language. We speak English. Not everyone speaks English. People in other places speak different languages. Some speak Spanish; people in Spain and Mexico speak Spanish. Some people speak French, or German, or Hindi... and Mommy learned a language called Sanskrit! People spoke it a long time ago."
{pause, then something that I think included something about sounding funny.}
"Are you having trouble saying the Spanish words?"
"They don't sound right?"
"Yeth." {Something that included the name of his friend.}
"Does {Andy's Friend} say the words? Can he say the words?"
"And you have trouble saying them?"

Oh, dear. So we talked a little about how it isn't his fault that he has trouble saying the words. And I told his teacher that not being able to say the words is frustrating him, and I suspect someone was making fun of him not being able to say them properly- or he perceived they were making fun of him. Perhaps the Spanish teacher needs a little birdie to remind her he has an articulation issue?


kathleen Leopold said...

he must be so frustrated..yes, sometimes we do have to remind people that some things don't come easy to son hated Spanish day as well.

Chun Wong said...

I agree with Kathleen, he really must be frustrated about it - they do alot of rolling their "r"s in Spanish and making sounds that we just don't use in English , tricky!

Club 166 said...

We don't like Spanish much around here, either. Partly it's the whole transition thing, as it's in another room. Partly I think it's what you've identified.


Maddy said...

Likewise. Articulation. Similarly, although they love music, it's the pull out and all the other 'bodies.' I often forget how tough these things are for them.

Stimey said...

Poor guy. It's a bummer too when other kids criticize things that your own kids like, but then feel bad about. Sigh.