A sweet way with language

Bengali (bangla) letters chocolate

Once on a school trip a friend of mine, whose mother was from Holland, refused to share his sweets unless I learned the Dutch for ‘can I have a sweet?’.

It may have pushed the boundaries of friendship but, decades later, I still remember most of ‘kan ik een snoepje hebben?’.

More recently, I’ve been rudely disabused of any notions I previously held about teaching my two boys Bengali while I myself learned the language. Isolated progress from Son1 aside, I’ve been clearly been hugely naive about the difficult involved in teaching children a second language.

Nevertheless, and perhaps inspired by my half-Dutch school friend, scribbling their initials on their Easter eggs has proved a surprisingly effective way to get Sons 1 and 2 to recognise the first letters of their names in Bengali.

Maybe chocolate-led learning is the way forward…

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