Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Bilingualism

  1. #1
    aMari is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Bilingualism

    Dear Teachers,

    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!

    Maria

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    21,648
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Bilingualism

    Quote Originally Posted by aMari View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    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!

    Maria
    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.

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    4,744
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Bilingualism

    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.

  4. #4
    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Bilingualism

    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.

Similar Threads

  1. Bilingualism
    By Bridget Ogunlana in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2008, 18:56
  2. Need hellp with Questionnaire about Bilingualism
    By Karina Szmigiel in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2006, 04:07
  3. Bilingualism
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15-Sep-2003, 00:39

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk