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Thread: Bilingual household
June 14th, 2013 10:44 PM #16Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
I used to live in a part of Canada that had a large French population. They way their children learned English was through tv and through interacting with others ie) at stores etc. They spoke exclusively French at home to each other and the children but all of the children's tv programs were in English so they were learning English at the same time but without the parents having to try and teach them.Andie - Mama to John, Thomas, Isla & Freya (twins) and expecting #5 in January.
June 14th, 2013 11:05 PM #18
German be a native language. Sure you can be fluent, but you'll still have an "American Accent" as my Chinese family would say. This is why I don't consider myself fluent.
Now it would be different if you fully immersed yourself in that country and became bilingual, but that takes years! My mom has lived in the US for 30 years now and because of that, her family claims she has an American accent to her Chinese. She hardly speaks Chinese here and so she's gotten rusty. It's odd since her English still isn't very good, my husband sometimes can't understand her. I'm used to it because I grew up with her. However, she sticks to English, even at Chinese restaurants, she tends to muddle the two. Often she'll say the food names in Chinese, but she'll say it like this "can we get ______ and two of ____" despite the fact she could say it all in Chinese. Even on our trip to Taiwan, I had to remind her a lot to speak Chinese. My grandparents can't speak English and my mom would often forget.
Anyway, this is why I'm enrolling my child into Chinese immersion. I don't think I could teach her/him myself and if I did, it probably wouldn't be very good Chinese. The nice thing is I could totally help her/him with homework and even practice with her/him just like my mom did when I was learning Chinese in college.
June 15th, 2013 04:33 AM #20
I'm a native English speaker and am majoring in French at university. I would definitely love to raise any future children bilingually. My boyfriend is fluent in French, English and Dutch, so the most likely scenario would be that we both speak French and English to the children and he speaks some Dutch with them as well.
Although I don't know from personal experience, I've heard that the key to raising a bilingual child is constant immersion in the non-dominant language. I also second the suggestion of www.mulitilingualliving.com, it's a great resource.
June 15th, 2013 08:39 AM #22Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
We are native English speakers living in Sweden, so as a family we speak English, but in the company of our friends I speak Swedish with our children (but my husband still speaks mostly English with them since they speak more Swedish than he does whereas I am fluent-ish in Swedish.). They will be 2 in July and they speak and understand both languages, but probably default more to Swedish since they get it all day at preschool and we play with friends so often. When their grandmother came from the US I was actually worried about them communicating with her but they figured out pretty quickly that they had to speak English with her. It was amazing.
I have always dreamed of having bilingual kids and for us the easiest thing was to raise them at least partly overseas in an environment where they are exposed to the other language daily.Mama to twin boys Oliver Graham and Luke Axel
June 15th, 2013 09:44 AM #24
My family has a German background on my mum's side. But my grandmother never really used it with my mum as a child. We learnt nursery rhymes and songs in German; but conversation was always quite minimal (especially because my grandmother was the only fluent one left.) But then when I was in middle school I learn German and took a trip with my nanna back to Germany. That experience made it easier for me to feel confident about my language abilities. When I came back I spoke German all the time, I didn't have any friends that could speak German; but I knew my nanna and my dad understood me (my dad is way more passionate about languages than my mum - weird, I know!) And then I went back a second time and it just all made sense, it was as though it was completely normal to me. I just intend to raise my kids with a comprehension of German, they'll learn the songs and the history, and probably a few phrases. I am also hoping that they'll be able to attend a school that teaches German as well, because its a dying language in my family. My suggestion would be to throw it in with everyday life, say good morning in your native tongue, teach them from the beginning. Often kids fall in love and become more fascinated with second language than they are the first.♫ I found a video from back when I was three, you set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me, its the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs... ♫
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