Here's a peek into what's on my mind re: my kids and Finnish after 2.66 years here.
The university offers amazing science summer day camps for kids and for the past two summers, I've put the girls in not only for science reasons, but for language reasons. It was so important, especially our first summer here, to give them opportunities to use and learn Finnish outside of school, during the summer. And those science camps were just the thing. Miriam especially really benefited from the experience.
This year, for the first time, they're offering one of the camps in English. And I jumped at the chance to sign Miriam up for it! Her Finnish has improved that much. In fact, I find myself glad that she'll have a chance to practice her academic (science-y) English outside of school, during the summer. How things can change in just two years!
Meanwhile, I was at Magdalena's class Parents' Night last month, and watching her present all her recent projects in Finnish made me realize that she in particular is so lucky to be bilingual. That's because she has so much personality, I don't know how she would ever have fit it into just one language! Having two language outlets to express herself is really a great opportunity for her. I know she talks all day at school in Finnish (we have heard from her teachers, and also, that's just what she's like), and there are times when she comes home from school and then starts talking in English nonstop, too. It's almost as if there is a word quota for each language that must be filled by the end of the day. She just needs to express herself! And now she has two languages to facilitate that process.
And then there's Sterling. He is our resident code-switcher. My recent favorite is that he sometimes says "I can't jaksa it!!!" If you say "en jaksa" then it means something like "I can't even," but Sterling just takes the jaksa and puts it in an English sentence. It certainly gets his message across!