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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 Quentin 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 Quentin’s skateboarding has improved a lot this year, but what I am really happy about is his progress in German. Quentin finally made a big step ahead in his speaking.

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When I read an article about plants in the desert the other day, it made me think of Quentin’s German. A desert lily, for example, is invisible most of the year, as it survives the long dry periods in a bulb deep in the ground. When it rains it springs to life immediately. Exactly like Quentin’s German: it stays dormant most of the year, but springs to life when we go to Germany. Unfortunately it also dries up again quickly when we return to Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

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