The main thing as that children have at least one language that they can use fluently.
I'm a teacher in a part of New Zealand that has a high Maori population. 70-100 years ago it was thought that Maori was dying out. Parents wanted to help their children do well and speak English well. Unfortunately many stopped speaking Maori at home so the kids would use English. The problem was that the parents didn't have good enough English so the children ended up have one language that they could speak, but were not truly proficient in. It has had a huge effect. There are still many Maori that do not have great literacy skills even a few generations down the track.
So please if you are teaching more than one language make sure that your child is fully literate in at least one of them. It sounds like everyone is, but it is something to be sure of.
My husband is foreign, but English. If we want another language we are going to have to work hard for it.
EDD 11 March 2012
I teach High School Science and Chemistry.
I'm a Kiwi and my husband and I live in Whangarei, New Zealand.
So that's why I refer to school and why my seasons are out of sync!
8/25/11 9:45 A
My husband is Japanese, so our 2.5 year old speaks both English and Japanese. From the time he was 1 to 2, my husband was the primary caregiver, since we had just moved and he didn't have a job yet. At that point, my son's Japanese was stronger. After my husband got a job and our son started preschool, his English became stronger.
We kind of do hubby speaks Japanese, I speak English, but something different that we did was a lot of translation. If my son said, "Ringo tabetai" I'd say, "Ringo tabetai? You want to eat an apple?" and my husband would do the same if our son spoke to him in English.
I think that those who have a native speaker in the house are at a definite advantage, but that doesn't mean that you can't teach a second language if you don't speak one. I hear from a lot of the other parents in my son's school that he is so lucky to speak two languages and they wish they could give their child the same opportunities.
I used to teach ESL preschool in Japan and I started a website that deals with it. The basic principles apply no matter what language you're teaching, so you could use the info and just substitute "Spanish" whenever you see "English" or whatever.
Here's my "mothers" link: http://teach-esl-to-kids.com/esl -resources-for-mothers/
and here's a link of games that you can play, mostly with flash cards: http://teach-esl-to-kids.com/esl -games/
I also think that it's great to watch kids shows in the target language as well, despite the anti-TV warnings. Our son watched a lot of Japanese kids shows and it really helped improve his Japanese.
8/22/11 9:04 A
Hi there! I grew up in a bi-lingual home speaking Spanish and English. My papa spoke Spanish and my Mom spoke English and I learned both just fine. My husband and I are both classicists, he teaches Latin, and we plan to teach our children Latin. Our plan is simple, Latin at home, English outside.
8/19/11 7:02 A
so awesome to see we won't be the only parents - I'm Bulgarian & my hubby is Greek. I couldn't speak English until the 1st grade & I had top marks for English language throughout school so I'm not even phased about that...
I'd like to get our little one speaking Chinese as soon as possible too...we have no exposure to it so any further advice would be much appreciated!
7/17/11 12:02 P
the best way is just interacting, helps a lot if you speak yourself the language: my 2y4m daughter exposed to 3: English, Russian and Chinese....English - for general communication, Russian cuz i speak but my mom lives with us who speaks only Russian to my daughter, i try to speak only English, and Chinese because we live in China right now...later on there will be Portuguese: from my husband side... while it seems its a lot, and my daughter doesnt speak as much as other 2 year olds, in reality she knows more words as she remembers same word in 3 languages...by 3 years it should all even out and she should be speaking properly....the first 3 years are best years to learn language naturally without much effort, till 5-6 years is still ok, after they will need an effort...environment is also very important....find some other Russian speaking families around for playgroups or something....we are trying to start here Portuguese speaking families playgroups, for moms like me with Portuguese speaking husbands who would like to practice their Portuguese and expose their kids... hope that helped...
5/4/11 5:30 P
Thank you so much! I will definitely check out that book and DVDs. I agree that the best way is probably just interacting with her. My Russian is OK but not great and DH does not know it at all. I really want to teach her but struggling with it.
Edited by: MDTWEETY at: 5/4/2011 (17:31)
5/3/11 2:38 P
Hi! We have family in Germany so I am working on teaching our children German. We have some childrens books, I ordered the MUZZY language DVD program which they LOVE (http://www.early-advantage.com/Wh ymuzzy.aspx). I have also begun reading a book entitled "7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child" by Naomi Steiner; it has a lot of great points. One thing the book suggests is for one parent to speak only English and the other parent to speak only the foreign language. There are also guidelines if neither parent are fluent in a foreign language (a chapter I haven't gotten to yet!)
With all the above resources, including online resources, I have to say that the trip we took to Germany this past year had a significant impact. The children being immersed in German for two weeks, has made a huge difference. They understand more and are actually using some words they picked up.
I'm struggling with this a bit, as DH and I live away from family. DH works a lot so that has me being majority of their interaction. They seem to absorb more if it comes on a personal interaction level rather than from a DVD. Just my opinion. Best of luck!
3/4/11 3:02 P
We've enrolled LO in spanish class at daycare- twice a week he spends time learning his second language. There have been a couple times where he's come home saying thing that neither dh nor I knew and we had to translate with a computer aid! LOL!
Scientifically it's proven that if a child is allowed more than one language early that he/she will pick them up much more easily. Has to do with the way the brain forms while learning speach. Music is the same way- if you introduce music before a certain age kids will just pick it up and go with it easily! (The same brain function that teaches language also helps understand music.)
my 3 year old is very fluent in Spanish and will often correct me. Its rather fun to hear him singing along with Diego and other kids things!
A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket.
-alan marshal beck
2/1/11 4:42 A
Hello, I have a 2,5 and a 5 year old boys. I am from Bolivia Spanish speaking but we live in Sweden. My husband is Swedish. I spoke to the boys from the beginning only in Spanish and my husband only in Swedish. Now they both go to day care and have learned more Swedish but have also developed Spanish at the same level. My older boy is beginning to pick up English now. I realized that he picks up entire sentences from TV-which in Sweden US programs are not translated verbally rather written. We also watch Dora and Diego, Franklin and Arthur. I believe that if children are exposed to the language, they will just pick it up. And Yes my husband and I talk to each other more often in English than Swedish mainly because of my laziness to use Swedish. We just began also to learn the numbers and alphabet in Spanish. I make an effort to let them know in which language I am saying the word. My son love dinosaurs and the little one love animals. So when we learn new names I say “this is cow in Spanish and kon in Swedish”. The little one just learns the two words and ends up using the one that he can pronounce better but the older already knows the difference in each language. I am proud of them because between my sisters we have 7 nationalities in the family. Swedish, polish, French, Colombian, US, Italian and the children all have in common that they speak Spanish. When we meet they can communicate with each other not regarding their other language.
1/22/11 7:06 A
That is interesting. I wonder if it is because ASL is visual, or maybe it's just different depending on the child. I still haven't figured out how I am going to approach this. I guess whatever I do is better than nothing.
1/21/11 2:20 P
this might be different b/c our second language is ASL (sign language) but I haven't found what Peanut said to be true. My husband and I both use sign language and speak English back and forth at different times, some for this word and then later that day signing the word. Also my son watches Signing Times ... it's sorta like a Sesame Street type of thing for Signing. It's reinforced his signing tons. He's also learned signs from it that neither my husband nor I have used in front of him. He will just do it spontaneously. .. but again maybe it's different b/c it's visual and not audible... so his brain can make the connections even when we go a few days without signing it, he still knows what it means. He also uses the signs with other people (altho most other people don't know what he's talking about).
12/2/10 9:39 A
No, we dont have any spanish speaking toys. I think ghey would be too hard to understand, and all the research ive done says babies under 2.5 dont learn language from toys or tv.
My son only goes to daycare a few days a week, was only two days a week till he turned 18 months, and now its 4 days a week. So it should be ok that your mother doesnt see lo everyday. She will just naturally pick up Russian as she is picking up english. Their minds are little sponges at this age. My son also knows some sign language, about 15 words, that we taught him and he uses his signs in conjunction with his english and spanish with no problems.
Tyler Matthew- Natural birth 4/19/09 9lbs1oz
11/30/10 3:14 P
My son is 19 months old and has been learning english and spanish since he was 6 months old. Our home is english speaking, and his nannys home is spanish speaking. I did alot of research and so long as there are distinct sources of language, the baby will learn them both fluently. In my sons case its to different locations, or it can be that certain people are the different sources (ie when grandma comes,its the diff language). Switching back and forth randomly will confuse them anddelay speach and understanding, as baby wont know which word goes to which language.
My son is funny, he will speak spanish all day for his nanny, but when I come to pick him up, he refuses to say anythong in spanish. She has cell phone video of him counting in spanish and asking for juice and a snack, but he will not use spanish in front of me.
Tyler Matthew- Natural birth 4/19/09 9lbs1oz
11/18/10 7:26 P
Anyone here have experience teaching their baby two languages? If you have any advice or resources to pass along, I would appreciate it.
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