Monday, May 10, 2010

The Right Kind of Conversation

We were unpacking our school materials from a recent trip and John noticed his weekly spelling chart wasn't in its designated orange folder. He had also not completed the checklist indicating he had finished one of the tasks. He pointed toward the sheet and said, "I write those last week already."

We've spoken proper English in front of the boy, at every opportunity, since we've known him. All the research says that he will eventually pick up our language patterns and begin to use them himself. It has led to his boasting quite a hefty vocabulary for a ten-year-old. However, irregular verb tenses and other grammatical glitches continue despite our best attempts.

Occasionally, I'll give in to my impulses and say something like, "John, I wrote those last week." That usually garners a response like "No, you didn't. I did." So I decided to take another tack this morning.

"John, what is the past tense of the word write?" I queried, in my most patient and instructive voice.

With an eager-to-please-star-pupil grin he proudly stated, "WRONG!"

Obviously, my work here is not did. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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