On the second day I spent in Zürich – on the look-see trip – I took the s-bahn into the city center and visited not only one but several bookstores. I absolutely love bookstores and the Swiss ones did not disappoint me. Where I had previously relocated to I had always been fine with English but moving to a part of Switzerland where German (or
Swiss German) ruled I was eager to finally start learning German properly, on location. So I decided to start right away by buying children’s picture / word books for me and my one- year-old. Now these types of young children’s books might have been created to teach mother tongue, but they are of course equally useful for multilingual children, if not more! AND, my point here, for adults too. They are packed with useful words, and by buying books relating to a certain theme I started building my vocabulary around the situations I found important and also knew we were likely to find ourselves in sooner or later. An example is the children’s sturdy board book on going to the doctor’s office and the hospital. Also note the kitchen section 😉 .
One of my friends from a previous expat adventure had told me she was given this type of book as a toddler and her mother had scribbled dates in it to mark the learning of the word (which to them was mother tongue). My friend took on the tradition and made the same thing with her child.