So we’ve talked a little about scaffolding and how natural it comes to adults interacting with little ones. A classic example is a mama and her toddler in a grocery store, and the toddler points and says, “Banana!” and the mama responds, expanding on what her child said, “Yes, that’s a banana!”
Taking one word a child says and turning it into a sentence is called a scaffold because it helps a child to get to the next level of language development.
Guapa is mostly still in the one-syllable words stage (if that’s even a factual stage!), and we’ve been finding that while we speak to her in Spanish, she answers in one- or two-syllable words.
We say manzana. She says apple.
We say caliente. She says hot.
We say agua. She says wa-wa.
We say que rico. She says nummy.
We say que asco. She says acky.
We say pan. She says pan.
It’s an interesting Spanglish mix, but I don’t think that means she’s confused. She completely understands us and proves that by responding with any of her language – whether it’s in English or Spanish.
She’s also in a sort of puppet stage and is eager to repeat what we say, so we’re working that to our advantage.
A way Tico and I have been scaffolding Guapa at this current stage is to break longer words into syllables. Like with saying “que rico”, we’ll break it into three syllables:
Tico: Diga que. (Say que)
Tico: Diga ri.
Tico: Diga co!
Guapa: co! (Of course these are ideal responses, ha! See below for example videos!)
Tico: Diga que rico!
Guapa: (usually some kind of gibberish, as she just doesn’t repeat multi-syllabic words all at once)
Here’s a couple examples of what it looks like in real life (complete with English subtitles! You’re welcome!):