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After Quentin’s German had remained surprisingly stable for most of the year he eventually slipped back into speaking Italian to me some weeks ago. As always I feared it would now take a lot of time and effort to reactivate it, but when his German grandparents came to visit us for Easter, Quentin’s German bounced back at once. “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 has reached the stability that allows him 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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