A New Sound!!
Last night, Kaya uttered her first "V" sound, which for us is really exciting because it was in response to my saying "Wasser" (water, pronounced like Vahsah) to her--a word she's been hearing for at least 6 months. This is VERY exciting for us, because at this point, her English output (word production) is greater in English than in German. I think this is due primarily to the fact that the sounds in the words she knows are easier sounds to produce in English, and are those that she has been producing for a long time ("d", "ai", "ah", "m", "b").
Up to this point, her vocabulary recognition is higher in German than it is in English, due to the fact that she hears German all day from me (when speaking directly to her), and isn't spoken to much in English until her dad gets home around 5:30. So, during the week, she gets an average of 8 hours of German input a day, and about 2-3 hours of English. On the weekend, she gets an equal amount of input in both English and German, since both of us tend to be with her in equal amounts. This makes for about 80% German input, 20% English.
- German Input Recognition (words she clearly identifies, but doesn't produce): 25-35 words--(Wasser, mehr, Essen, Banane, Cracker, Fertig, Fan, Baum, Baeume, Puppe, Hund, Luftballon, Komm, Hol, Steh auf, Wo, Tiere, Lampe, Stern, Licht, Affe, Schnulli, to name a few)
- English Input Recognition: 10-20 words (hard for me to list many out because this is Geoff's territory)
So, in regards to her language production at this point, she says two words clearly:
- Mama--she started saying "mamamama" at 6 months while crying. She said "Mama" and pointed at Mama when asked where Mama is at 8.5 months of age.
- Dada--she had been saying this sound since at least 6 months as well, though it was more of a "daidaidai". At one year, she clearly says Dada and will point to and look at Dada when asked who he is.
- "dah" for dog.
- "buh" for book or Buch.
- "muh" for more or mehr.
- "lai" for light.
We've also been using sign language with Kaya with some key words. Geoff uses the sign with her and speaks English. I do the same in German. At this point, she is clearly able to sign:
- stillen/nurse (milk)
- fan/Fan (thanks for the reminder, Sara! Yeah, I made up this sign! But she's good at it!)
I can imagine some people thinking that it just seems ludicrous to be teaching her three languages. I realized this as I was adding the piece about sign language. Thought I might clarify that the baby sign is to help ease our life for the next few years so that she can more easily communicate words that she is still unable to say with her mouth--the whole point of baby sign. We've seen the benefits already, and are loving them!