I found this wonderful site today and I have to control myself because it's about what I love the most. English language learning.
I have a little girl and I'm trying to bring her up to be bilingual.
I just wanted to know if the theory that says I should always speak to her in Spanish is the answer to my question.
When I'm with other people and her, I speak Spanish and I don't want to seem rude, but I need to be consistent, right?
She will be 3 in September and at the moment she's fluent in both, English and Spanish.
Thanks for your help!
I don't know how effective the different theories are but I have some experience. My daughter, who is now 14, was born in Ireland, her mother, my wife, is French and I am English. When she was 3 we went to live in India for three years where she went to school, the medium of instruction was English. We returned to Ireland for one year where she spent one year at school learning through English. During all this time my wife and I spoke to her and each other using a mixture of English and French. When she was 7 we came to live in France where she started school, this time completely in French, she was by this time bilingual in English and French. Up until now she has always been top of her class in both languges.
Originally Posted by aMari
Yes, I think the point is to avoid constant code-switching. In Ontario we have a French immersion program famous in the country for its bad results: "They're perfectly bilingual-- they're equally incompetent in either official language" is the standing joke.
The reason? Allowing the indiscipline of constantly moving to the other language whenever you can't think of a way to express your idea quickly in the current language.
Just remain consistent within conversations, only allowing a switching of codes mid-sentence once in a blue moon.... and she'll be fine.
While I am not a teacher, my sister was. She taught Grade 1 for many years. She found that children in her classes who were being raised bi-lingual, no matter what the language, had some difficulties in the first year. I believe it was because of the constant switching from one language to the other as konungursvia mentioned. However, two or three years later, they were ahead of those being raised uni-lingually.
A child's brain at each stage of development can only absorb/understand a certain number of words. If it gets those words in two languages, it may take a bit longer to become comfortable with them.
So, keep up the good work, I'm sorry that I didn't keep up German more with my own children. They are O.K. with simple conversation, but not really bi-lingual.
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