As an adult, do you find it difficult to learn another language? Are there little things in another culture that boggle your mind?
For the past year, I have watched a little boy in our neighbourhood school, be dropped off in an all English environment, he did not speak a word of English, his parents both speak English fluently, but only speak French at home. The boy, according to his Mother has adjusted well, and has had no problems with culture shock. In fact, she looked at me oddly when I asked. I noticed some of his withdrawals, and his cries of frustration.
This year, she put him in after school care, his English is still not very good. This isn’t a judgement, but I often wonder if we really listen to our children when we move. Kids always want to tell us they are happy, they are naturally parent pleaser’s, but do we ever put our adult selves in the shoes of our children? So I often wonder, how absolutely frightening it must be to not be able to communicate properly.
As an adult, I have often been put in intense situations and immersed in other languages. I have had many tears over buying the wrong milk, or mistaking oatmeal packages for cornmeal, or even butter over cheese. These silly mistakes are often easily remedied, and my frustration is often short-lived. As an adult, I can understand my culture shock. As a child, I was often traumatized by my culture shock, and my parents were often the last to really understand where the tears were really coming from.
I look at this young boy, and wonder, as adults are we really understanding the needs of a child when we move?