I went to teach Portuguese last week and I the 4 year old greeted me yelling, Mom, the Porcacheese teacher is here! LOL
I asked little john, after all our classes, let’s say the name of the language we are learning, he stopped me and answered: Portugues!
I said great, now tell me in English: he said Porcacheese! I told him Portuguese! He said, no gramma, said Porcacheese, when she was here…..and he would not let me say anything else.
What puzzles me, is that he is great with the language classes, but he insists with the term Porcacheese!
That brings me to thinking what is more important, the core of the language itself or details?? I have no doubt that John knows what Portuguese means, even though, he calls it Porcacheese, so I made a choice to ignore the detail and focus on the core of my teaching which is enable this child with all the tools to communicate with his family in Brazil, to help him understand culture, food, comic books, songs his mom heard when she was little and help him love every minute of it!
I made a choice to keep him engaged and having fun, instead of insisting on something which is not really important in the target language learning process, which might cause irreparable damage to our teacher/student relationship and all for what?
I embraced Porcacheese and even came home and taught my son, told my parents, another story among all the amazing stories my students help me collect as precious memories of my teaching best moments! The best lesson was that language is not static, it evolves and children are active subjects while learning a foreign language, while their brain is trying to make sense of the new grammar, the new sounds, the new arrangement and new rules! Thankfully all that is translated into a fun experience in programs like ours! Let your child create, let them make up new words, let them learn!
+ Porc + cheese = Porcacheese! A new word is formed!