February Multicultural Carnival

via angelachen.myblog.arts.ac.uk

via angelachen.myblog.arts.ac.uk

Welcome to this month’s multicultural carnival. I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful blogging group.

This month’s theme is words.

I love words in every form. Just dried ink on paper, the smell of fresh newsprint, shouted in joy and whispered in love. I can’t get enough watching the evolution of the words my daughters use. The Franglais or language mixing I once dreaded, I now cherish as I realize how quickly they grow out of these phases. I hope to never forget the nights P wrapped her arms around me saying:

“Maman, I want a ‘gros calin’ and I don’t ever want to let you go”.

I very much hope you will enjoy the wonderful selection of posts below.

all rights reserved The PiriPiri LexiconSourcing books in a target language or culture is often challenging when you are living elsewhere. The Piripiri Lexicon shares their wonderful resource for French books.

careforourworld3Mud Hut Mama shows us how through a selection of wonderful books and games, she takes her girls on a tour of the world opening their eyes to different environments and cultures and how rhymes and word games can help reinforce these new lessons.

Time-to-PrayChildren ask so many questions and some are harder than others to answer. I completely fumbled the other day when in a bid to speedy up P so we could avoid the legendary Bangkok traffic, we ended up in a conversation about transportation, leading to blood circulation and oxygen. Talk about digging myself into a hole! All Done Monkey shares two wonderful books about Faith to help find the words to explain difficult concepts like ‘soul’ and ‘reverence’. I particularly love that one is focused on the Muslim faith and one the Bahá’í as I am keen to expose my girls to as many of the worlds faiths I can.

discoveringtheworldthroughmysonseyesActions speak louder than words: I am sure we can all agree that any utterance of “I love you” is better when followed by a kiss or a hug! Frances at Discovering the World Through my Son’s Eyes reminds us that books can be more than just words woven into stories when she creates activities based on her chosen book, turning storytime into a hands-on crafty afternoon.

Toddling in the fast laneToddling in the Fast Lane reminds us that when there is a will there is a way with their wonderful spanish mini book describing Chinese New Year. And yes folks there is a free download!

I want to start by saying how jealous I am of Little Artists’s languages: English, Russian and Chinese! Makes my English/French/Spanish seem positively mundane. Living life as an expat can be very lonely especially when new-found friends must make a move.


Here, Little Artists shares a wonderful silver lining, the passing down of books, particularly bilingual ones. Check out the wonderful illustrations. Am now dreaming of these for our bookshelves!

As I wrap up this carnival, is worth mentioning it was due out on the 14th. Sadly my lack of planning and unexpected bronchitis caused a significant delay. So I’d like to end on this wonderful note, with Kids Yoga Stories l post sharing their top 10 Children’s books about love and friendship.


We hope you enjoyed this month’s theme. Coming up March 14: Springtime Traditions will be hosted by Delightful Children’s Books!

Milk, Wheat and Word Construction.

I was at a loss for words as I pondered what to write for the Bilingual Carnival hosted this month by Gato and Canard. I decided to join the corporate ranks and experiment in the art of outsourcing read I contacted our host to ask her if there was anything in particular she would be interested in. She responded that she would like a post on WORDS. Yes I found this funny given I had none in my mind but then something happened. I remembered a post I’ve wanted to write for the last eight months but have never been able to get around to, until now.

When we visited some of my family in France last summer, I had huge hopes and perhaps even expectations —always a dangerous thing— of how my oldest daughter’s spoken French would emerge. Despite only spending just under 3 weeks and having her Spanish-speaking father and English-speaking Grandfather around, I felt confident that given her understanding of French, the words would suddenly come spilling out.

I can assure you this did not happen. Fortunately the disappointment was lessened by my enjoyment of a particularly cold summer —we live in the tropics so this is good news to me— coupled with other family dramas that moved language acquisition right to the bottom of my list of worries. But before my attention was absorbed with more pressing matters, I did manage to jot down one of my favorite linguistic anecdotes to date.

Towards the end of our drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle to southern Normandy where we were initially staying, we passed a number of wheat fields. Having lived in New York City, Singapore and traveled to Mexico where the only fields my eldest had seen were brown, of shopping malls and a blue-green one of agave. I was excited to point out the fields of wheat and explain what they were. My relationship with nature and particularly my understanding of where food comes from had nearly always originated during my summer holidays in France as a child; I looked forward to sharing this with P.

Me: “Regarde le champ de Blé!” [Look at the wheat field!]

P: “du lait?” [milk?]

Me: “Non, du BLÉ” [No, wheat]

P: “oui LAIT!” [ yes milk]

Me “Non, B-B-B + lé. BLÉ” [No + attempt to sound out wheat in French]

P: “Oui, B-B-B + lait”

Me, now ecstatic: “OUI! BLÉ!”

P: “OUI! B-B-B- MILK!”

Ok, I can see how that would make sense to her.

Word construction is a funny thing. Most of us don’t think about it much except perhaps during SATs, in the US anyway and maybe when our children start speaking. But there is a whole other level of fun that happens with many multilingual kids as they work to tease out sounds, words and separate languages.

I hope you will share your favorite creative word or sentence construction!