Friday, March 23, 2012

The Language of British Children

I taught at a Nursery school today that only had nursery classes. It was a small school with just four nursery classes of 30 children each. Nursery age is 3 and 4 year olds. I had the best time. I pretty much just played with them all day long. I couldn't believe that I was getting paid for it because I was having so much fun. The weather was beautiful too, so we played lots of hide and seek outside in the play area.

Throughout the day, I found myself laughing at the things these little British children would say. To British people, it wouldn't be funny at all, but to me, it was hilarious. I couldn't believe how proper these children talked! They sounded like little adults!

-A little girl named Lola (Age 4)- She asked me to help put on her boot. She couldn't get her foot in all the way and was struggling with it. I was helping her but also having a hard time with it. After trying for a little while, she looked up at me and said, "Quite difficult, isn't it?" (I was thinking, did that really just come out of your mouth? American children would say, "Hard huh?")

-I was reading a story with a few children on the carpet. Lola was doing something else on the side. I asked her if she would like to come and join us for the story. She said, " a moment." (A moment? Not, "Just sec?") 

-The book that I read had the word "tomato," in it quite a few times. I said it how I normally say it with my American accent. A little girl looked up at me and said, "Mikelle, it isn't tomato, it is tomaaahto." (Oh, well excuse my accent little one.) 

-It was clean up time at the end of the day. Some children were cleaning well and others continued to play. A girl who was doing a good job cleaning was next to a boy who was still playing. I heard her turn to him and say, "Stop lollygagging! It is tidying up time!" (Who says lollygagging these days? I guess British 3 year olds do!) 

Are 3 and 4 year olds really saying these things? I feel like British children talk so much more adult like than American children. The British English is just so much more proper where American English is so laid back and casual. So funny.

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