Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Learning a Language

Antonello and I have been studying English. I had sent him a book back in November called "The First Thanksgiving," and three days ago he got out his gigantic English dictionary (that had that "never-been-used" look), and we opened "The First Thanksgiving" and started to read. It is one of those books for children who are learning to read, but it's a little more advanced, and the story is at least somewhat interesting, seeing that Antonello probably knows very little about the first pilgrims in America. (Although he apparently knows a great deal about maple syrup).

Anyway, in these past few days I've begun to see that it's a really wonderful thing to watch someone learn your language. Watching him pronounce the words even, just the way his mouth moves differently than it does when he speaks Italian. To hear him sound almost like me--it's kind of fascinating. And every time he gets to a word he doesn't understand, he opens his gigantic dictionary (that has that "never-been-used" look) and looks it up. And slowly, he gets to words he has already looked up, and he knows what they mean. Yesterday, he got stuck staring at the "J" section for way too long, and I couldn't help but smile. There is no "J" in Italian.



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