Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Caleb, Bradey, and Aubrie have finished their first month of Polish school and have lived in Poland for just over five months now. I thought it would be a good time to update you on their progress in the language though Ginger and I have found it difficult to gage from week to week. It's hard to tell how well children are picking up a language, the main reason being a totally different learning model from adults. While Ginger and I are slaving away in the dungeon of language school, our children are soaking up the language intuitively. In contrast to the vocab, grammar and syntax that haunts their parents they learn by associating speech with pictures or events. Slowly, but also sometimes rapidly they begin to comprehend words and phrases, not through an English explanation or chart, but simply by the context in which the words are used. Maybe this is old news to you or maybe not but this is the way we all learned our first language. Mom telling us "no" as we crawled towards the outlet or dad saying "ball," we associated words with specific events and those words were engrained into our head.

From time to time we have sat the kids down and said "tell us some Polish" which usually yields little if any results. More and more though, Ginger and I observe them using their Polish. Today as I was walking out of school with Bradey he said goodbye in Polish to his teacher and he didn't appear to think twice about it. The other day before we ate Caleb used a word that is similar to "dig in" that he apparently picked up from lunch at school. Aubrie by far is the most vocal with her Polish, but judging a child's language learning solely on their speech can be misleading. For every word or phrase they speak they comprehend a ton more. I attached a video to illustrate this point. We enrolled the boys in a karate class as another way for them to interact with Polish kids as well as immerse them in the language. The video is the first day of class so the commands you are seeing them follow are new to them but yet they seem to comprehend. FYI the boys are the last two on the left of the group. Three weeks have passed since the video was taken and today after the 45 minute class the teacher came to Ginger and said that they are excellent at following directions. Compliments are rare for Polish people so there was substance to what the teacher said. Ginger and I just took the opportunity to thank the Lord for a little hint that the kids are beginning to adjust.


Anonymous said...

Man, they were right on with timing. Pretty cool. Pray for Jim--he's really getting exhausted. We need to figure out how to do this deputation thing without his working full-time. We think of you and pray for you. Barb Seffinga

Kristen said...

Hey guys - found your blog through facebook and have really enjoyed reading it. How exciting for your kids to be learning a language at such a great age! I'm amazed at how our kids love to learn and just soak up information at this age! Although I'm sure the going is tough for you guys language-wise, you can rejoice that the Lord took you to the field when he did so your kids can pick up the language so fast!
Kristen Golson

Auntie96 said...

I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing your blog is. Mom read your blog today and cried tears of Joy. We are so excited for you. The Lord is so good. He knows what we need even before we ask! Mom is home from the hospital but she has a very serious staff infection. Thank you for asking! We are so blessed to be a part of your ministry.


For the Hesson Family