One of the more surprising things Son1 said recently, even more so than “but why can’t we go to McDonalds for Mother’s Day”, was “how do you learn Bengali?”
For now I’ve leant him my copy of William Radice’s Teach Yourself Bengali as a stop gap measure while I work out a) whether he really does want to learn and b) how I’ll go about it this time.
But perhaps now’s the time to capitalise on this sudden interest, helped by a school project on India perhaps but also maybe a growing realisation of who he is.
The question remains, however, what is the best way to teach children a second language?
At least with an adult you could refer them to Teach Yourself Bengali, tell them to watch a few Satyajit Ray films, maybe tune in to the Asian Network’s Weekend Bengali programme and download some Bengali podcasts.
I suspect with a child it’s going to take a bit more thought.