Jasonママの帰国間近になってようやく英語が少し出てきた。ナーサリーでは多少話しているらしいが、実は、私はこの目でアラタが英語を話している所を見たことがなかった。興味深く観察していると、語順は日本語で単語だけ英語！？「アラタ 泣かない」が「クライイング ノー」で、「アラタ ねんねしない」が「スリーピング ノー」
After we stayed in Japan for nearly 2 months, Arata only spoke Japanese. When he had a small development test of language over there, he was asked, "Give this blue pen to your mother please" and 'Put this pen on the chair please" He could of course manage to respond correctly. Taking into consideration that he usually lives in the U.K., he did very well. To be honest, he couldn't have understood if it'd been in English, though. Arata said everything in Japanese. Every single word. Even "Racing car" was "Racing Kuruma" although in Japanese we also call it "Racing car"!
2 days after we came back to the U.K., Jason's mum arrived. When she said something to Arata, he was saying completely unrelated. I assumed he didn't understand her at all. Jason's mum tried to guess what he was saying and replied to him. Usually her guess was wrong. Secretly I was quite amused by their conversations! (Sorry, Beth!)
Towards the end of her stay, Arata slowly started to speak English. At nursery he'd already spoke some English but I'd never heard him speaking English. I was watching excitingly when he spoke English. It was very sweet because he used English words in Japanese grammar. The word orders are different in 2 languages but without knowing that, Arata went, "Sleeping no!" or "Crying no!"
Jason's mum got an impression that Arata's first language was Japanese. She must have been quite disappointed and she told us that Arata needed English. Well, just after we came back from Japan, I also lost confidence what I was doing about his language education. Because, whenever he spoke, nobody understood, of course, and Arata looked confused and sad. I thought I had to take him to Japanese friends more often to gain his confidence or I even thought I had to speak English to him.
But when we live in this country, it's too obvious that keeping Japanese is more difficult than learning English for him. Since Jason's mum went home, our conversations at home have been back to more or less only in Japanese. But Arata's English is getting stronger everyday. He picks up English at nursery or TV. He sometimes plays by himself talking something in English. When Jason asks "What's this?" in English, Arata replies in English and if he is asked in Japanese, he answers in Japanese on simple things.
On contrary, I'm sure his Japanese hasn't improved as fast as 2 years old who live in Japan. I don't intend to speak English to him at all and he must master Japanese somehow!