Student or Learner
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!
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.