What is the best way to teach your son spanish and english?

Cristina - posted on 07/17/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 and I have been trying to teach him spanish and english. My husband does not speak good spanish so its very hard with my son. Any suggestions.

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Angie - posted on 07/18/2009

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I am a latina mom and dual language spanish teacher that had ur problem.. If you speak spanish you should be the model for the spanish and only speak to him in Spanish..your husband should the model for the English and speak to him only in English....I know of many friends that have taught it this way and the children are totally bilingual...at my school we also teach the languages in this manner too:)

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Roxanna - posted on 09/01/2012

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I am a first generation American of Dominican descent and I was taught Spanish at home, English in School. My Mom tells me that when I was about two, I told her I wanted to talk like Daddy. Meaning both languages. By the time I was six years old I could read, write and speak both languages. No, not at genius level! And I am so glad I did because the explosion from Puerto Rico, MENUDO, really let me enjoy the songs!

With my children, I spoke spanish and english, at the same time. "let's go bathe" "vamos a banarte", "recoje tu cuarto" "clean up your room", etc. My oldest took one year of Spanish at school and was so bored because I had taught her so much that she took french and is now tri-lingual. Same with my little one. Its all about perseverance! Good luck! We as Hispanics must continue to teach our children the language of our countries!

Tiff_mom - posted on 08/16/2012

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As others have said, more exposure is always better! I've spoken only Spanish with my daughter since birth but I started to get a bit frustrated when she would understand me very well but wouldn't speak it herself. I've been focusing on creating a more Spanish-centric environment and that has worked surprisingly well. The highlight of the things I've been using would be Kid Start Spanish http://www.kidstartspanish.com, I can't say enough about that program. It has really helped her "break out of her shell" so to speak. I think she's seeing Spanish all around her now and can give it the same importance that I do as a mother.

Tiffany - posted on 04/13/2011

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my 6 year old watches cartoons in spanish and he is learning..i dnt speak much spanish but since me and my husband been together he speaks only in spanish to my older son and our 6 month old son.

Jenny - posted on 08/09/2009

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Set aside time each day ( a couple of hours) when you speak to your son only in Spanish. This will allow you to be consistent, yet also allow you to have family time in English when your husband is home. One parent one language is an excellent method of raising bilingual children, if both parents fully support the idea. It's important to teach our children both languages, but it is also very important to maintain the support of our husbands. I also agree with Edda and Grisell; if you are able to focus on the less common language (in your community) at home, then he will pick up the more common language at school. However, if both parents don't speak the less common language fluently, this is not the best choice.

Edda - posted on 08/08/2009

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that will be fine you continue to speak spanish they willpick it up and understand you. That was the way I learned and people tell me the I don not have an accent in either language

Edda - posted on 08/08/2009

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My parents always spoke to me in spanish in the house as I grew up and we learned english in school. I raised my three the same way and all three have learned spanish. Broken spanish as mine was at first but afterwards they practice voluntarily with their cousins.

Grisell - posted on 08/03/2009

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Like I said before, my son was expose to both languages.At a point he started to mix languages.He took the easiest words in each language when he speaks......years after that "lazy state" he manage both languages. My stepfather had the same experience with his 3 daughters and now they live in the continental US and are fluent in both.

Wendy - posted on 08/03/2009

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I am a single mother who speaks Spanish and English. The first language I started speaking to my son and daughter was Spanish. Slowly after I started introducing English to them. One of the biggest helps I have is my mother. She will speak to them in Spanish and I will now speak to them in English. My goal was for my son and daughter to be able to communicate with my parents. Another thing I did for example, I would point to their eyes and tell them the word in Spanish and then I would tell them this is how you say ojos in English. There one a point where my son was getting a little confused with both languages and what I did I would speak in Spanish and I would tell him I'm speaking Spanish and then I would turn around and tell him in English, this is English. It's just a matter of patience, consistency and support.

Grisell - posted on 07/28/2009

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Ladies, I have the same problem.....but inverse. I live in Puerto Rico, a US territory in which our first language is Spanish and kids learn English at school since first grade (that dosen't mean that we all bilingual or at least dare to speak English).At home, we had to teach the kids by example. My DH and I speak both languages ( I even speak a little french) so the kiddos are used to this bilingual thing and try to imitate. I can say that my oldest (15y/o) is near to be totally biligual and my youngest (7y/o) speaks very good but understands even more....a good resource is Dora and Diego, my DD had learn English with them.

Marilyn - posted on 07/25/2009

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I could definitely relate to all of you. I have the same problem with my kids learning Spanish especially, since my husband doesn't speak the Spanish language. I don't want my kids to fall in the category of that they can't speak Spanish especially coming from parents that are Latin. My daugther is 6 and will be turning 7 this October and is very eager to learn Spanish especially, since my mom only knows Spanish ,so it is very difficult for them to communicate with each other .Although they always find a way with the little English my mom knows and understands. My daughter understands it, has a difficult responding in a sentence and have tried to commit this year to just speaking Spanish, but it hasn't been easy. I know it is very important for them to know the Spanish language especially coming from ta Latin heritage. Also, now its the time to teach them the second language before they get older because its much harder. My son is three and receives speech and language services and there are times that I feel he will get confuse, but as an educator I know he won't and actually he understands a lof of the things I say to him in Spanish, so I am going to try my best to keep talking to my children in Spanish so they can become bilingual even if it takes me some time.

Milay - posted on 07/24/2009

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English is my second language and my husband only speaks English.
My daughter is almost 5 months and I have been speaking strictly Spanish to her and husband speaks English to her. There is a local library here that does a reading circle in Spanish and "Plaza Sesamo en Español". These are some ideas that might help your son. Good luck.

Angie - posted on 07/23/2009

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To Cathy Salinas, Dont give up!..continue to speak to them in Spanish...we live in an English language dominant country they will learn English regardless...Dont mix the languages only use Spanish and if they need or want something remind them to ask in Spanish believe me if you dont give in and only speak or answer them in Spanish they'll learn:)

Cathy - posted on 07/23/2009

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what if you don't have a husband? I try to speak both to my kids and even when I speak spanish to them they answer in english...

RITA - posted on 07/22/2009

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You speak to him all in Spanish and your husband all in English... that is one way. My DH does not speak Spanish. Kids pick up languages by immersion. As long as he is constantly hearing it, he will pick it up. My daughter has...

Sophia - posted on 07/21/2009

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be careful when it comes to tv time, my son was doing great bi-lingual until he found tv shows he liked in english only.

Sarai - posted on 07/21/2009

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I am a bilingual speech-language pathologist and I totally agree with the response Angie Martinez suggested. This is the best way for your child to learn both languages. Be careful no to use "Spanglish" or mix the two as this may interefere with proper grammar and vocabulary.

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2009

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there is a group called english/spanglish/spanish learning babies you should join

Laura - posted on 07/20/2009

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I have the same problem. My husband is not fluent in Spanish and English is my second language. I want to teach my two girls, but my husband feels ignored and gets frustrated when he can't understand me. It's been hard to please him and teach my girls. They are both very eager to learn though. I want to switch slowly, but don't know how. Both my girls are older 6 and 4.

Sandra - posted on 07/18/2009

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just talk to him, hearing it over and over, hes small enough that he can pick it up quick. say it in spanish, then sat it in english, and then repeat it in spanish. it worked for me

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