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  1. #16
    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 - John, Thomas, Isla, Freya, Marigold and expecting #6 in June

  2. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by merrybells View Post
    The situation is hard to explain. No, I was not raised bilingually, and I am not exactly bilingual.
    Let's say the language is German. My family has a strong tradition of learning German, although there are no German origins. There is a gift for words and languages in my family. When I was young, my parents spoke to each other frequently in German so that I would not know what they were saying. I have the family gift of language, so I learned a lot of German this way. When I chose a language in school, I chose German, and missed a year but was able to be top of the class the year after before skipping two language levels. I am mostly fluent, but not bilingual and I use it frequently. I stay in practice by talking to my friends in both languages and I habitually translate work or write daily lists or notes in the other language, so I am not really bilingual, just fluent. Did I explain that well?
    I'd highly suggest finding an immersion program or tutor/teacher then. To raise a truly bilingual child you would need to have 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.

  3. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    San Antionio, Texas, U.S.
    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, it's a great resource.

  4. #22
    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 my boys, the 'twinadoes', and a little Tingeling.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Australia
    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.
    "Jessie" Jessica Emily Faith
    Living in the land of Oz...
    Ronan: For the sake of spicy, little boys wearing plaid shirts, running around in kneeless jeans, playing in the mud and being mischievous.
    Combo Considerations:
    ★ Amara Kate ★ Jonas Michael Ellis★ Lorenzo "Enzo" River ★ Viviana Camille ★ Rowe Henry Robin ★ Thora Jewel ★ Luca Rowen Henry ★ Emmy Noelle ★ Bentley Reed ★ Mary Belle Aster ★ Anna Lora Lark★

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