Bi-lingual kids

Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2010 ( 57 moms have responded )

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I was just wondering if anyone was teaching thier kids spanish as a second language? My hubby doesn't speak it, but I do and would like to pass it on to my children. Any suggestions on how? My daughter (4) seems to be picking it up better than my son (6)

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Abigail - posted on 03/02/2010

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When we as Latinos get to be third and fourth generation Spanish speakers, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the Spanish going. The" outside" world speaks predominently English. I started a Spanish speaking playgroup/parent group so that my baby can grow up hearing Spanish, playing in Spanish,etc. It also makes me practice my own Spanish. I didn't have a lot of spanish speaking friends, because I did not grow up in the city where I live (NYC) but,I do now. Try meetup.com in your area for similar groups and if you can't find one to join-start one yourself.

Alexis - posted on 02/11/2010

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My parents only spoke Spanish in the house so that was my first language. I didn't learn English til I went to preschool. I picked it up pretty fast, but because at home we only spoke Spanish, I never lost it. We are doing the same with my son. I know many people who have tried to speak both at home, but since at school the kids will speak more english, they tend to lose the spanish. But everyone is different. I am glad you're teaching your kids spanish though!

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Emily - posted on 05/26/2010

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spanish is a second language for me but i speak it more than i do english. my daughter will know spanish first but will know english since my parents and siblings only speak english. i know she will learn english fast in school. my niece only spoke spanish until kindergarden. within a month she was completely english fluent.

Iris - posted on 04/30/2010

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My son is going to be 2 in July. He picked up both Spanish and English. I felt it was important for him to learn Spanish first because, that way he is able to communicate with my family. And it was by the way my first language. English he will learn through tv, and at school. We speak to him mostly in Spanish and understands it more than English, with English we have to repeat it a few times until he understands. He now knows over 60 words English/Spanish. It is important that you repeat to them so that they listen to the word and also let them know what you're talking about by pointing things out. Like when I first taught my son about banana. I asked him "Want a banana"? "Quieres una banana"? And hold a banana out. He quickly learned and now when he wants a banana he says "Manamana please!"

Emma - posted on 04/28/2010

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I have twin boys and my husband and I talk to them in espanol also I'm teaching them canciones y cuentos en espanol quiero que sepan hablar,leer y escribir espanol perfectamente. Quiero q sean 100% latinos aunque they were born en Canada.

Denisse - posted on 04/28/2010

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Mi bebe tiene casi 2 anos y yo le hablo todo el tiempo en espanol su papa en ingles y para que no tenga problema de entendernos o que tarde en empezar de hablar le ensene lenguaje de senas y es lo mejor, es el mismo significado en espanol o ingles, el escoge si va decirlo en espanol o ingles. Lo que sea mas facil de pronunciar

Julie - posted on 04/27/2010

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I WENT TO A "BOYS BOYS BOYS" PARENTING CLASS(I HAVE 2 BOYS 7 AND 5) AND BOYS ARE VERY CHALLENGING.LOL ONE OF MY SONS SPEAKS SPANISH FLUENTLY.MY OTHER SON DOESN'T WANT OT TALK IT BUT VERY WELL UNDERSTANDS IT.MY PERSONAL OPINION,IS THAT IT'A A PARENTS RESPONSIBILTY TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN BOTH LANGUAGES.I KNOW MY SECOND SON WILL NOT USE SPANISH ON A DAILY BASIS.BUT WHEN THE SITUATIONS RISES HE WILL KNOW THE LANGUAGE.WHEN I SPEAK SPANISH TO HIM ,HE'LL ANSWER ME IN ENGLISH. I CHARGE HIM 10 CENTS WHEN HE DOES THAT.LOL I DO TELL HIM THAT SPANISH IS A BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE AND TO BE PROUD OF HIS HERITAGE.I KNOW MANY HISPANICS THAT WEREN'T TAUGHT SPANISH AS A CHILD AND HAD SPANISH SPEAKING PARENTS.THEY WISH THEY WOULD'VE BEEN TAUGHT.I LIKE THIS CONVERSATION, LOL

Jenny - posted on 04/27/2010

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sometimes i think that girls are fast learners, and boys is just more of a challenge, my daughter speaks both english and spanish, my son just refuses to speak spanish, he says he doesn't like it and it's confusing for him. but i did notice that he understands it very well, but he's not a fan of speaking it. just keep teaching your child both and if you have to label some things in both languages. like for ex., door, puerta. and place them where ever necessary. it worked for my daughter but not for my son he still refuses.

Johanna - posted on 04/22/2010

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just try to tlk to them more in spanish and showing them the object....im going threw a lil trouble with my 2yr old but his learning and getting somethings down path...good luck they should catch on a lil faster because they are older i still have a long way lol

Nuria - posted on 04/21/2010

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Hola Mami Latinas, Claro q ser bilingue es beneficioso. Mi esposo y yo somos latinos , vivimos en Canada hablamos ingles y espanol. A nuestro bb de 4 meses le hablamos totalmente en español. Tambien mis padres y herman@s le hablan en espanol. Vivimos en una provincia donde son excasos los latinos, es raro ver una persona latina o escuchar a una persona hablar español. La television y radio es ingles o frances. Asi es que depende totalmente de nosotros que el aprenda hablar español perfectamente, y no solo hablar escribirlo y leerlo. Es muy penoso ver muchas familias latinas que no le ensenan a sus hijos hablar su idioma natal, quizas no lo hacen porq creen q no es necesario o por dejades o ignorancia de sus partes. Tambien a todos mis amigos latinos les he dicho que prohibido le hablen en ingles a mi bebe, que para aprender ingles el tiene la escuela, y todo el mundo externo fuera de nuestra casa y primero Dios espero que aprenda frances y sea trilingue!!.

Ceciley - posted on 04/19/2010

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All the academic research says that one parent speaking one language exclusively, and the other speaking the other s the best route to go. Having older children you might have to do some explaining though. Maybe if you find a group of like-minded moms to meet up with at the park. We found that regular exposure to Spanish-only environments spurred my son's comprehension and speaking vocabulary.

Tamra - posted on 04/18/2010

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I am just now beginning to teach my kids Spanish! I am learning it right along with them and so far it seems to be going well! I have 6 kids, 15, 11, 5,4,3,and one and the young ones are picking it up fast! I have the older ones take about 20 words or phrases a week and we practice them together and use them in any way we can all through the week! the little ones think its so fun to have a new way to say good morning, and excuse me so they go right along with it! After only one week they could tell me the meaning of almost all twenty words and phrases and keep using them along with the next weeks twenty too! We are moving to Mexico in less than a year, and I don't want the language barrier to be so hard on them! I think its wonderful for kids to know more than one language and it opens up so many more opertunities for them!
If they start having issues retaining that many at a time I plan to go down to a lesser amount but the week long of each set seems to be the magic amount of time! when the phrases get harder I am going to make sticker charts and each kid will get to pick a sticker when they use a phrase correctly on there own! I hope that will make it continue to look fun for them!

Anabel - posted on 04/15/2010

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My 13 yr old son is much more fluent in spanish than my 6 yr old daughter. He was almost only spoken to in spanish before entering school by us, and our family and friends. He picked up english quickly once in school. My daughter, now has a big brother and older cousins that speak english to her regularly, even before she entered school. We are now facing a larger challenge in getting her to practice her spanish. But if we don't teach the language at home, they will not be practicing it elsewhere (enough to complensate). All we can do as mama's is try.

Faviola - posted on 04/12/2010

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Its a great thing to teach our kids spanish, with my son I speak to him in both spanish and english. Sometimes I'll say something in english and then translate it to spanish for him

Julie - posted on 04/11/2010

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i have 2 boys,5 and 7.speech therapist say bilingual children will choose thier perfered language by age 3.my 7 yr. old spoke spanish first.i put him in a bilingual pre-k.he read writes and speaks spanish.my 5 yr.old just took to english.by a mistake i made in the language survey.he was put in english pre-k.i home-school him in spanish at home.hee prefers english but can speak spanish.i believe if you hispanic.be proud of you culture and traditions.my english son(ivan)doesn't have to be bilingual all day,everyday.but if he should need it,he'll have it.us minority will be a majority in the future.why look hispanic and be limited.it's a parents reponsibility to teach hispanic children their languuage,culture and traditions and to be proud.what will they lose by being bilingual and gain so much for being who we are.

Beatriz - posted on 04/11/2010

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Hi my husband and I are From Ecuador and Puerto Rico but we both grew up in NJ, growing up in a Latin household we both had no choice than to learn Spanish, while in school they taught us English. To us it is important that are boys learn Spanish, since the grandparents are old fashion and they prefer to keep their language alive. In our household we speak to them in both Spanish and English. We make it as a fun thing, we like to say ok today we only speak Spanish, the found it fun. It could start from just a simple, Por favor, gracias, de nada. I like to ask my kids to Por Favor pasame el vaso de agua, then i'll switch it up. little simple phrases will help them. Then when they go to grandmas they practice what they've learned at home. Good luck.

Betzy - posted on 04/07/2010

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Hello, my youngest child (2 almost 3 yrs) is part mexican and his father has not been in his life for almost 2yrs. but he use to hear spanish from mainly his father and me when i spoke to him, friends, or his family. with him not being in his life any more i still want him to know the other part of his life and not just english. so between me speaking english first and then repeating in spanish he understands them both. i have music, movies and books i read that in both spanish and english. to the point my other child who are all white are learning spanish as well. each child learns at different paces so give your 6yr old some time, i bet he understands more than you think he does. keep doing as you are and all will work out. but like i was saying since my son does not have his father i put on movies and music in spanish/english and i say something to him i tell him in both spanish and english and work with him on practicing the words and he gets it. so i wish you the best and hope all works out for you..

Angela - posted on 04/07/2010

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si todas son latinas porque nadie escribe en castellano, yo no puedo escribir ingles, y mis hijitos van a ser bilinguales ojala yo trato de habar en castellano , y mi esposo en ingles , pero es dificil , mi nena de 4 anios no hablaba y ahora si comenzo y solo habla en ingles , pero deve hablar en espaniol , y mi bebe todabia no habla dice solo palabras

Angela - posted on 04/07/2010

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que bueno, yo solo se espaniol y mi nene esta hablando ingles y yo quiero hable espaniol tambien esta bueno saver dos idiomas

Martha - posted on 04/06/2010

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oh go ahead......languages expand kids minds. We are mexicans, living in Mexico and we educate our kids in a bicultural enviroment its great to see them develop fluently in both :)

Maria - posted on 04/06/2010

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I myself am bilingual. My parents only spoke to me in spanish at home and I learned english once I started preschool. I plan on doing the same with my 4 month old daughter.

ANA - posted on 04/05/2010

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My son is 3 and I speak in Spanish, my husband does in English, he's a slow talker, but since he was a little baby he understood both languages, and I think its going to be an advantage for him being bilingual, he's in speech therapy now (English) but the therapist agreed with me, that is not important to talk fast, even-dough that can result frustrating for you and your kid, is going to be really good for him. This past month it seems he decides to start talking, and he does in both languages, when he can express a word in Spanish he tries in English and otherwise.

Ana - posted on 04/05/2010

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I am mexican and my hubby is american. Since the moment our son was born we made the decision to make him bilingual. Now, I asked the same question to other latino moms that I knew their kids spoke the two languages and they all said the same thing. You speak to him in spanish and let your husband speak in english. It will take him longer to talk but he will be fluent as he gets older.
And that has proven true. He is now 3, and he still a little behind than other kids his age but he will adress to me in spanish and to my hubby in english. Same goes with our family, when he is with my in-laws he falls into english mode and with my family into spanish with no problem. People are surprised at how well he has managed both languages and great pronunciation.
Now, it might get a little hard to try with older kids but if you are sure, it will happen, just know it is a lot of work and patience and lots of love.

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my 17 yr old, is now starting to realize how important being bi lingual is. she hated talking it when smaller and now she is talking it more often. i don't speak it all the time at home, but my mother speaks it all the time. my 10 yr old speaks it sometimes, but she thinks she sounds funny. i was the same way when little and once i started the work world i realized how good it is to be bi lingual. i talk it more now then when i was growing up, i speak it often at work since my employees are mainly latino and do not speak english or barely do. i have taught my girls that it will be very benificial in the work world. be patient with them. they may not want to speak at first, but if they understand at all it is a start.

Melinda - posted on 04/05/2010

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My husband is Mexican and we lived in Mexico when my son was born. I always spoke English with him and everyone else Spanish. When he was 3 and a half, we moved here to Ohio. My family spoke only English to him for about a year and he learned it very well. Now at almost 6, you would never know English is his second language. We speak Spanish to him at home so he doesn't forget. DO NOT believe people who tell you your kids will be confused or not speak either one properly. It can definitely be done. We need people who are multi-lingual in this country!! We(Americans) are so ignorant to assume that the whole world should learn English to make our lives easier.

Gloria - posted on 04/05/2010

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Hola...i have two kids, Giulia 8 and Tiziano 2, and they are tri-lingual. They both speak Spanish, Italian and English...I think that the key to our success was persistance. I think it is a shame to see kids who are born in a bi-racial family and not being able to speak the language, but also understand the being bi-lingual DOES NOT only mean you can speak the language, BUT also write and read it....so every summer for 3 months i tend to travel back home and enroll my daughter in a ONLY spanish speaking school and this is why I can truely say she is 100% bi-lingual, becuase she knows how to speak, write and read....and next summer is Italy....Hope that helps and dont give up....the key is persistance from us....!

Zilma - posted on 04/04/2010

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My kids are 2 and 4 and I'm speaking Spanish only at home because I know they will learn English at school, that way they won't forget they're roots. I have friends who only tought English to their kids, and now they don't want to speak Spanish anywhere, though they understand and speaks Spanish.

Barbora Milena - posted on 04/04/2010

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My daughter is 5mnths old n even her dad ( who is Spanish) left us before she was born, since the day one i tak to her in my native language, english n spanish...i have read that u should talk to them in all languages u want them to speak in the future asap, cuz it makes it easier for them to learn them later on, just keep in mind emotions should be always expressed in ur native language, as the sound will not be the same in any other language, but the normal talk n learnin colors n animals, singin songs etc, that you can do in all the languages...my parents made me bi-lingual since i was 2yrs old n im benefitin from it all my life.....

Lina - posted on 04/04/2010

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I would say for the older kid using tools like dora or diego and hooked on spanish for introducing fun ways to play with spanish. Maybe doing some lessons with other kids would help him want to speak spanish. Use labels all over the house making it easy for him to see the objects in spanish some boys dont pick up language as easy as a girl so it may be harder for him. But if you can help him to get all the sounds out of his mouth correctly even if he does not know the words he is saying he will have a better foundation for language learning. In fact I would see how many phonetic sounds he can possibly do... like the weird sounds from Africa and India too and play with phonetics so that way if he ever wants to learn another language he would be able to produce the sounds in any language. look up phonetics they are so much fun!

Jill - posted on 04/03/2010

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My son is 2 and a half and we have been speaking to him puro espanol, (ok, spanglish sometimes). He speaks pretty well, but has started picking up some english on his own from TV or hearing other people talk. I figure, he WILL learn english, but he won't learn spanish unless we teach it to him. Some other friends of mine are teaching second language by having the kids always talk to mami in spanish and papi in english and they say it works pretty well.

Camille - posted on 04/03/2010

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my daughter is 2 and she balances both languages pretty good. my family and i try to speak both languages to her. She watches Dora the explorer so that helps as well.

Judith - posted on 04/02/2010

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Hi Jeniffer,

I always read, talk, watch novelas, and spanish cartoons with her to help her familiarize herself with the language. I also speak to my parents every other day and keep them on speaker phone so that she can hear others speaking in spanish as well. I am sure you will do a great job in whatever you decide to go with. Talk to you soon.

Idalis - posted on 03/23/2010

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They say the younger you teach them to speak sapnish the faster they pick it up. Your son is still pretty young so I dont think there will be a problem just because he doesnt pick it up as fast as your daughter ;)

Priscila - posted on 03/15/2010

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the younger you start the better. why do you want it to be their second language?? i am spanish and my husband is australian. i have spoken to both my kids (now 4 & 2) in spanish from the very moment they were born. they tend to speak a spanglish atm, but i am confident that they will grow to be fluent in both spanish and english. As their mother and the only one who speaks spanish in the relationship it is our job to drill it into them from the moment they are born. we learnt cause our parents only spoke to us in spanish. therefor it is my theory that we should speak in spanish when at home together and school and their fathers parents will make sure my kids learn english.

Dixy - posted on 03/12/2010

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Definitly yes,I'm from Chile,my husband Serbian and we live in Dubai.I was concern about that before my first son was born,I found information about It I had talk to a serbian teacher married to someone from Panama.There is no problem,kids can pick up even 5 or 6 languages at same time,I spoke spanish with him since he was in my belly and my hubby Serbian,later he learn English in the school and now he is learning basic Arabic normally and without a problem,now we do with my second one,he is 1 year and 3 months and started to talk very well spanish and serbian so later he will pick up the rest..Just do not mix because "that could confuse them".i'm very happy that my kids have the oportunity to speak few languages bacause that can help them in the future so go for It :-)))

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I have been teaching my children Spanish for 12 years and it has ups and downs, but it is worth every effort. My kids are 12, 10, and 8. My oldest spoke Spanish but then when he started school he switched and it was only until he was 9 started speaking it again. Now, they have more vocabulary, sentence frames, and we speak for 2 or more hours at the end of each day, and weekends (most of the day). It has taken discipline from me because I am tired at the end of the day, but in the long run is paying off, and I love hearing them converse among themselves and with other family members in Spanish. Now we are trying music in Spanish and they starting to pick their favorite songs. My suggestion is to set a routine every day for as little as one hour but be consistent, I think that is what the kids will benefit from most, consistency.

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We are a multilingual household but my first language is Spanish so I speak it to my daughter all the time and she understands everything now at 11 months , her Dad speaks in Finnish to her most of the time specially in the mornings when is "Daddy" time he reads books ,sings and hangs out w/baby and when were together we speak in English and I got to tell you is been working really well she knows all three is funny she chooses the "easiest" word of all 3 languages to repeat .The first years in a child's life are crucial to introduce different languages they can store up to five and master them when taught early on in life . Hope this helps.

Mary Ann - posted on 03/11/2010

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My son is 13 and my daugther is 8 my husband and i deside to let them learn english in school and talk spanish in the house there grandmas only speak spanish .Now there really good at both languages and they also read in spanish and english.Hope i could help God Bless!!!

Melitza - posted on 03/10/2010

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My daughter is 4 and spanish is her second language my parents only speak to her in spanish and since they babysit her she learned quick and i also speak to her in spanish it's good for them to have a second language

Cheryl - posted on 03/07/2010

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I sure am trying, I forget to keep it going but we have spanish word books and if you can teach them 1 word a day, they will ask start to ask you how to say things, I think its great for them, it sure helps on the job, they always like that and sometimes will pay more and it also is easier to learn while young.

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2010

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i have a 14 month old daughter and we have alway spoke both spanish and english around her, and know she basically understands everything...its great

Cindy - posted on 02/25/2010

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My husband doesn't speak spanish but I always talk to our kids in both languages. My daughter is 5 and she speaks perfect english and spanish, my son (2) is learning same way, but I really think that you have to start when they are newborn to make easy and natural for them.

S - posted on 02/24/2010

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Only speak Spanish to them and if you can insist on them speaking to you in Spanish...even better! At least you are exposing them to it as much as possible...

Brisa - posted on 02/22/2010

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I speak to my 9 month old son primarily in Spanish while my husband speaks to him in English. This worked for my sister. She has a 5, 4, and 2 year old and all three are bilingual. The middle one seems to prefer speaking English but when she goes to her abuelitos' house she has no problems speaking Spanish. I'm a school teacher and I have seen this wor for other children as well. Hope this helps.

Nena - posted on 02/22/2010

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I just speak Spanish to my kids and my husband English and Spanish but his Spanish is no really good.my 9yrs. old daughter speak really good Spanish, my 4yrs. old boy understand but he doesn't want to talk in Spanish he answer everything in English. but when my mom is here he is forced to talk in Spanish because my mom don't understand English. my 2yrs. old boy is mixed both when he say something in English i repeat the word in Spanish and he repeat back.

Guadalupe - posted on 02/19/2010

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Hi, I'm new on here. My son is 8 yrs old and he speaks spanish very well.Mainly b/c my husband speaks only spanish and I mainly speak english to him but when we are around my hubby we all speak spanish. Pretty much with my Little one (not Born Yet- Due Feb.22) we'll teach him spanish also.

Erica - posted on 02/19/2010

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my husband and his family speak to my baby is spanish and me in english. seems like she understands both.

Ana - posted on 02/18/2010

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My daughter is 2 and she knows both and has picked it up rather quickly. I speak to her as if i were speaking to a older child so she can learn words correctly too. But i always say something in english and she repeats it of course being that shes two and then in spanish. She tends to speak more in english. Every kid is different and being bilingual is such a great skill

Nashira - posted on 02/14/2010

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I would have to agree with everyone that has posted prior to me; I am also bilingual but my eight year old didn't want to learn..I just got back from visiting my parents in PR so my girls know some; they also speak both languages. I have an eight year old and a one year old. My one year old learned lots and now my eight year old wants to learn..I need to follow some of the advice given to you and be more spanish dominant especially since my husband only speaks english. He only knows a little. I will be learning right along with you. So good luck to you and I!

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