by Amy LV
Students - I hold great respect for children and adults who speak two languages. Having grown up with only English, I love knowing that some families cross the borders of word and sound, have double the words and expressions for the same experiences. When I was a teenager, I lived for a year in Denmark, and during that year I learned Danish. It was very difficult, and I was afraid to speak for some time, afraid to sound stupid. But my host family encouraged me, and I finally realized that speaking was the only way that I would make friends. In time, I learned to speak Danish well and even thought and dreamed in it. And when I came home to America, I would sometimes search for a perfect word...and find that it did not exist in English.
This is a free verse poem, a poem that expresses a longing for something, a poem of admiration and a touch of jealousy. Do you speak two languages? For what do you long? In such heart-echoes, we find poems.
This book written by Helen Recorvits and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska is one of my favorite books about learning a new language.
And a favorite bilingual children's poet? Why, Pat Mora! I have been reading Pat's wise book ZING: SEVEN CREATIVITY PRACTICES FOR EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS, and here is just one of her beautiful bilingual children's books, GRACIS/THANKS illustrated by John Parra.
Oh! Today is the day after Groundhog Day. If you're wondering what Phil is thinking right now, check out last year's poem, February 3.
Karissa is hosting today's Poetry Friday over at The Iris Chronicles. Head on over to taste this week's poetry delights!
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