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This year Q. has been able to keep up his summer German level for a long time. He fell back into speaking Italian to me on a daily basis quickly, but he showed an unwavering determination to try and use German when we had quality moments alone. Some weeks ago, however, German disappeared completely. But to me surprise Q’s German bounced back at once, when his German grandparents came to visit us for Easter: “Ich habe gebaut das Haus, guck hier mit einer Rakete” (German for:  I built the house, look, with a rocket) he said to them or “Ich habe Yoga in der Schule gemacht.” (German for: I did yoga in school). I breathed a sigh of relief. Quentin is able to activate his German whenever it is needed. Read the rest of this entry »

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When we were back in Milan from our summer holidays Q. wanted to show me some skateboard tricks: “Ich gehe Skateboard fahren,” he said, “Ist schoen Skateboard-Fahren. Komm anschauen” (German for: I go skateboarding, is nice skateboarding, come and look). There is no doubt that Q.’s skateboarding has improved a lot this year, but what I am really happy about is his progress in German. Q. finally made a big step ahead in his speaking.

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The other day I read an article about plants in the desert. Some of them seem dead from the outside, but they survive long and dry periods in a bulb deep in the ground. When it then rains they blossom immediately. Exactly like Q.’s German, I thought: dormant most of the year, but the moment we go to Germany his German springs to life. Unfortunately the analogy does not end her. When we leave Germany and return to Italy German dries up quickly again. Read the rest of this entry »

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