teaching children another language?

Marci - posted on 11/22/2008 ( 81 moms have responded )

20

0

4

Is anyone teaching their children another language besides english? example: if your spouse or yourself has a native language besides english.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lorena - posted on 07/14/2009

4

12

0

I myself was raised by two parents who only spoke spanish. I was raised in California and picked up English rather quickly once I started going to school. My husband was born and raised in Pittsburgh and can only speak English. Before we had our son we decided that we would speak to him in both languages. I would speak mostly spanish to him, and he only English. So we did, later we went to a seminar given by a speech specialist. He assured us we were doing the right thing. He said that even if my Hubby could speak a few words in Spanish he should let me do the talking so that our son would learn the correct accent. As for myself he said that it is imperative that when I do speak to him in Spanish I do it in full complete sentences. Not to mix the languages together because then he is not learning Spanish and English, he would be learning Span-glish. He also warned us that his speaking might be delayed. That it did not mean he (Quin) is delayed just the projection of speech. Quin is now 16 months and can say about 6 words in each language clearly. He understands about 20 in both languages. Hope this helps. :D Patience is key. PS- We also got for him a reading program at 4 months called your baby can read, we have had great success with it. He can read the words, ball, toes, head, ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and moon.

Brandi - posted on 11/24/2008

38

32

6

I wish that I were more able to do this! My daughter lives w/me and my fiancé who both speak English. She is of Mexican decent on her father's side, but they do not speak Spanish either. If I could afford it, I would send her to a school in our area that is a total immersion program. They have preschool (ages 3 & 4) and grades Kdg through 12. They can do either Spanish or French. I would choose Spanish - it is the most spoken language in the world.

Since I can't, I do have a "tutor" come twice a week to work with her. The "tutor" is a neighbor girl who is totally billingual, as her family is Mexican. She comes over 2ce a week for an hour each time and plays with my daughter. They read books, play dolls, do puzzles, etc. However, she uses both Spanish and English to expose my daughter to Spanish. Sometimes my daughter goes to her house for the hour and is even more exposed since her brother and sister and mom are all there speaking Spanish. I pay her $20 a week, and it is great. ALSO - this helps me to feel comfortable building a relationship with a babysitter that is not in my family. My daughter LOVES when it is her day with Ms. Carina! And, at 15, Carina is good with her and likes the $20 a week. And, I get to make dinner in peace 2 days a week!

We also have books that are in Spanish (I can read a little Spanish - took it in High School) and we watch Handy Manny, Diego, and Dora. I even DVR Diego and Dora on the Spanish Channel. It is like our version - but the opposite. They speak mostly Spanish, but throw in the occasional English word.

So far, it is helping. My daughter does use some Spanish words. And - at the least she is exposed to Spanish on a regular basis!

Kate - posted on 11/23/2008

51

25

7

I wish that we could. It's hard though because I don't speak my husband's language, so it makes it hard for him to remember to do that with the kids. And English is the national language of his country, so that makes it even harder to remember because he's very good with Eng.

As far as the spanish/eng. you should try this (it worked with my sister who is living in Spain with her Spanish husband and taught her boys both): They speak Spanish to each other, and Miguel (the father) speaks Spanish to the boys, and Sarah (mom) speaks english to the boys. Since she was/is around them most, they picked both up. Of course, they learned from the beginning, but it's never too late to start, in my opinion!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

81 Comments

View replies by

Magda - posted on 05/08/2012

1

0

0

My daughter is 4 and she speaks Polish and English. I would say Polish is her first language although we live in England. My husband speaks French to her and she is good in understanding him as well. I believe in OPOL method (one person one language) which means I only speak Polish to her and my husband French. We use three languages in our household!.

Stephanie - posted on 01/17/2012

10

14

2

My son goes to the Gaelic nursery in Edinburgh, for the first 3 years of primary he will be learning in only Gaelic, it's absolutely fantastic, my partner and i are learning the language too.

Susan - posted on 11/10/2011

2

71

0

Yes...my son's father and the in-laws are from Germany so they have been teaching him German since he was an infant. We have storybooks in all German and a German picture dictionary. He recently started a new daycare and the teachers asked me if he spoke another language because he says things they don't understand! I laughed and said he knows more German than I do! He is also learning Spanish in school and sign language. The experts say that a child's most formative years are between newborn and age 5 and that during this time they can learn up to 5 languages easily!

Betheny - posted on 11/08/2011

9

14

0

My daughter is in a Korean Daycare where they don't understand any english. The whole family is learning Korean, and we love it.

Anne - posted on 11/06/2011

130

1

17

My husband speaks English with the kids, I speak German with them. We live in a third country. Our daughter speaks 3 languages, our son is refusing to learn the native language. But they are both fluent in German and English. We did it from birth on.

Hemani - posted on 11/05/2011

4

6

0

My son aged 4 yrs and 8 months speaks at least three languages. We speak my mother tongue- Gujarati at home, with his friends/playmates he speaks - Hindi (That is our National Language) and at school he is taught in English. So he is very comfortable with 3 languages. But it is very common in India for a child to know not less than two languages. And whenever I can I read him stories in Russian. I plan to start teaching him the Russian alphabet soon. By the way he is learning to write in Hindi and reads as well as writes in English. I don't need to teach him to read or write in Gujarati ... he will pick it up on his own later...

Bri - posted on 06/04/2011

43

1

1

my husband is hispanic, so we wanted to teach our daughter spanish as well as english. it helps that although i am not hispanic, i am fluent in spanish, so we just talk to her in both. we mix spanish words in english sentences, or we will say one sentence in english, then the next in spanish. my daughter is 20 months & although she speaks mostly english, she does speak some spanish words & she understands about the same in either language.

Taneeka - posted on 04/16/2011

19

46

1

my 2 and 1/2 yr old son speaks arabic (father) and english he can follow directions and answer in both...i speak only english to him except fora few words and his father and grandmother speak only arabic to him.....he also signs a little bit from when he was a baby

April - posted on 04/08/2011

17

11

0

Having a korean husband that doesn't speak Korean and his mother (only family member on his side) far away, I have decided to teach my son Korean. I figured we both learn from the beginning together. I have used the internet for basic words, purchased children toys from Korean, and have a fantastic coworker that makes sure I say the word correctly. I'm also teaching him to recognize Korean words. Although he is only 18months, learning basic words along with the english words should help. I'm sure his grandmother will be very happy at her next visit.

Nancie - posted on 04/08/2011

3

0

0

I am trying to teach my daughter Spanish she is 6 and I should have started when she was younger like i am doing with my little boy I have been speaking Spanish to him since he was born

Ivonne - posted on 03/26/2011

4

7

0

The youngest, the easier it will be for a kid to learn another lenaguage. Phycologist say it`s more convenient for a child to learn a second or 3rd leanguage after 4-yo as children must fix their main leanguage in their mind first. In my experience there no issue about this.... in a daily basis if a child can learn any extra lenaguage, go ahead, at the beggiging they can mix vocubulary from any other lenguage, which is funny, but later on they will difference each one perfectly; it takes time but it`s worth for their better future.

Ivonne - posted on 03/26/2011

4

7

0

Hello....

My husband and I native leanguage is Spanish but are teaching my daughter English as she already speaks Spanish. She almost 4-yo but she`s so excited about learning this second leanguage. He`ve started for basic commandas such as "hello, bye, thank you, excuse me, love you, miss you" , also songs... something that she can`t deal with so far it`s movies, she hates them.... any suggestion for me to make this easier for her?. TY.

Sha-barbara - posted on 08/29/2009

4

3

0

i have 3 children, each a year apart; currently they are 2y/o, 3y/o, and 4y/o and all 3 of them are age-appropriate FLUENT in french, spanish and english (in descending order of vocabulary strength). you absolutely can NOT be lazy when it comes to teaching the kids another language. i'm african american, my husband is from ireland, and we live in new jersey, previously in manhattan. from birth, i've ONLY spoken french with the kids, my husband english, and we've had a native spanish speaking nanny (south america) to watch and speak with the kids every day/all day.i have my bachelor's degree in french, have travelled often to france, speak with natives alot, and i'd say i'm 90% fluent(smile)----but the kids don't know it! they only address and interact with me in french, even though they hear me speak english with my husband! sometimes, if my eldest is speaking with his dad and can't find the word in english he'll turn to me and ask me (in french ) what the word is in english (smile). 2 yrs ago to reinforce the french while i'm at work i hired a native speaking french nanny (only from france), and now the kids have the spanish and the french nanny who alternate days. interestingly enough, when they talk to each other and when they play it's always in french. i think any child can learn several languages as long as the parents are committed!!!

[deleted account]

My husband speaks bangalie and arabic .......Every sunday my two eldest boys go to my motherinlaws to learn bangalie and arabic...........I think its great for children to be bilingual and im sure it will help them in life when they are older ....My boys really enjoy learning the language and always come home and show off what they have learnt to me ......im so proud of them ...they even know more than i do ,,,,,lol

Donna - posted on 08/26/2009

6

11

0

yes i have 3 boys 1 can under stand spainish but cant speak it, one can repeat it perfectly but has no idea what he is saying and the last one speaks and understands pretty good. start wen they are little, everyting in our home has 2 names.

Lyndal - posted on 08/19/2009

130

19

8

I don't really think it matters if one parent exclusively speaks one or the other as long as there is a mix of the languages. But it should be from as early as possible. It should if possible begin in the womb really. My husband and our family speak Frafra (Northern Ghana) and I speak English. I speak basic Frafra to our daughter but my husband speak mainly Frafra. When she was born she latched onto Frafra and whenever someone came over it seemed that she heard that language better than English. It was quite funny.
Begin early and use resources too - books etc - if they are available in that language (unfortuneately for me they are not).
... but don't think too much about it. Just talk to your child in lots both and as they grow they'll figure it out as they begin to form relationships with other kids. They may even get to teach their friends some new language. :)

Christina - posted on 08/17/2009

2

14

0

Well I am still pregnant im due next month but yes we will deffinately be teaching my son spanish i am white and his dad is mexican and does not speak hardly any english at all and well i speak both and figure it would be better to try and teach spanish first cause he will have to learn english in school once he starts.

User - posted on 08/11/2009

1

0

0

Speak with your child in your own native language, no matter what. I spoke German with my little one for three years but gave up because his language development appeared slow.It was not. He is more eloquent than many of his peers, but he can't speak German I regret it now.Its' hard, but don't give up. And travel! Travel.

Lindsey - posted on 08/10/2009

3

3

0

My Husband is from Pakistan..He speaks Urdu & Punjabi among other things..We are teaching both of our children Punjabi and English...Although my oldest is better with the English we are tring to introduce him to punjabi with a few words at a time. He's only 2 and I see how confused he gets sometimes. We usually stick to English in our house hold.

Amanda - posted on 08/10/2009

2

7

0

My Husband is from Honduras and we are both fluent in english and spanish. Our daughters (Alejandra 7 & Arianna 5) r not fluent in spanish but we are getting there lol I always told my husband that when they were babies that he should only speak to them in spanish but he speaks both so its been a little hard. Alejandra just learned how to roll her "R"s. Shes doing really well but i would have liked for them to be fluent by now.

Marci - posted on 08/09/2009

20

0

4

the reason i asked this question is because i dont know how we should go about doing this. as someone else said. "I read in a book somewhere that if you are teaching your children two languages each parent should stick to one language and not swap around when speaking to them as it confuses the learning process." i think this would work very well, but how does this work when my husband speaks another language that even i do not know. i dont mind trying to learn along with my children. but if he has to stick with his language, i will be very confused.

Nicki - posted on 08/08/2009

5

16

0

I am German and my husband Japanese American. We speak both English and German at home.

[deleted account]



Quoting Emily:



Yes spanish and it is so difficult. Our daughter understands and can follow directions in spanish but she will not speak it! Hubby is from Costa Rica and I am from the US




Linda - posted on 08/08/2009

14

10

1

i speak english to my kids and my partner speaks brazilian portugese. it really stands to kids learning 2 languages from birth!

Miranda - posted on 08/04/2009

3

0

0

My baby's father is Garifuna, from Guatemala, and he doesn't speak English so the baby will learn English, Spanish, and Garifuna from birth. Even no, talking to the baby whole it's still in my stomach I speak Spanish and read to it in Spanish. I am trying to find a way to expose the baby to the Garifuna culture and language while I am in Canada other than when the family calls but I haven't been able to find any communities near me.

Jenny - posted on 07/31/2009

5

10

0

I am teaching my son spanish. He is only 7 months but I have been trying to repeat everything mainly in spanish. My husband says my son knows more spanish then he does. I think that is pretty funny. I encourage every parent that knows another language to pass it a long to their children. It's one of the best gifts you can give them for their future.

Michelle - posted on 07/27/2009

1

1

0

Hello I am Michelle from the STL and my husband and I are going to raise our child in a multi-lingual home. He is 100% Mexican and speaks fluent spanish, so we have decided that AT HOME he will speak to her in Spanish and of course I will be speaking to her in English. We have many friends that have used this technique and have successfully raised bilingual children. We deeply feel it would be in her best interest and a great way of keeping her in touch with her Mexican roots to be bilingual. There are many children programs that teach Spanish/English. My favorite "El perro y El Gato" (The dog and the cat) Teaches vocabulary in both English and Spanish...hope that helps...feel free to email me anytime :-)

[deleted account]

I'm Australian and my husband is South Korean, and we live in South Korea.

Our baby is 9 months old. I haveI always spoken to her in English and my husband speaks to her in Korean. She has a lot of exposure to Korean, so I focus on her English at home.

Danielle - posted on 07/17/2009

26

27

2

I keep trying. I speak Spanish and I have always wanted to teach my son Spanish. I recently got a book from the library called "Raising Bilingual Children." It's been so helpful that I'm gonna go to Amazon.com and purchase it!

Jennifer - posted on 07/16/2009

20

14

0

I am trying to expose my daughter to Spanish. Her father is from Mexico, but can't be here with us now because of troubles with paperwork and visas. So I have some Spanish cds of children's songs and rhymes that I play regularly and I use all the Spanish words that I am comfortable with (colors, numbers, "donde esta Cora? estas aqui!") as often as possible. My accent is so terrible, I really hope my fiance gets here soon to help! I have read that the best way is for each parent to speak their own language to the child. I have an older lady friend who is Chinese and only spoke Chinese during the day to her boys when they were small. Then when Dad came home, they all switched to English.

Allison - posted on 07/15/2009

3

12

0

At the moment, it seems like our whole family is learning a lot of langugages all at once. I am Canadian, my husband Kenyan, but now we are living in Brunei, where the main languages are Malay/English/Chinese...we have 2 daughters together ( 4 and 1) and 4 months ago , my husband's oldest son (14) came to live with us here.. With our oldest girl, he spoke to her in swahili sometimes and I tried to use the limited vocabulary I have in swahili for some things..but it wasn't very consistent and at that time my husband didn't use swahili much, b/c there weren't many around us who shared that language... now that our son is here, he and his dad communciate mostly in swahili, so the baby is really picking up swahili very quickly, saying new things almost every day... now the fun part happens, since her older sister of course wants to be just like baby sister and big brother and speak in swahili too! Nothing like good old fashioned sibling rivalry to boost language acquisition! The most hilarious part is that my 4 year old goes to an international school with a big chinese population.... so when she speaks swahili with her brother and daddy, she calls it "speaking chinese!" lol I guess to her mind, any non-English language is Chinese!



It all will develop naturally if everybody in family makes a small effort that is filled with love and joy for the cultures that you embrace ....whether from inside or outside your own family!

Francesca - posted on 07/14/2009

2

29

0

Me and my Fiance are :) I'm English but he's Persian so our daughter is learning English and Farsi. Although i don't speak Farsi myself (i only know a very little) my Fiance speaks to her in it all the time and i speak to her in English all the time and the same goes for both our families :)

Amanda - posted on 07/14/2009

76

9

10

Quoting Desiree:

we are teaching my son both english and spanish. my husbands family only speaks spanish and my family speaks only english. So he only talks to the baby in spanish and i talk to him in english that way he learns both of them from the very start, it is also helping me to learn spanish because i dont know it either.



Wow that is my exact situation except I have a daughter. I am having a lot of trouble learning spanish because my husband works a lot. I am thinking about using the Rosetta Stone program but it kinda pricey. If anyone has used it do you think its worth the money?

Sandra - posted on 07/08/2009

52

2

3

That is so cool all these languages that kids are being taught! My partner is indian and i would love for my kids to pick up the hindi language! Maybe i will learn as we go on! My twins are 1yr old and i have to keep reminding 'dad' to speak to them in hindi so they learn He forgets coz his english is so good! He also thinks that if we dont speak hindi to eachother then they wont learn! I tell him as long as he speaks to them in hindi and they are exposed to it they will learn!!!!

Caron - posted on 07/06/2009

1

0

0

My husband and I are South Africans and we teach out two children Sotho. I read in a book somewhere that if you are teaching your children two languages each parent should stick to one language and not swap around when speaking to them as it confuses the learning process. We have followed this and our 4 year old and 18 month old can understand Sotho fluently and my 4 year old is just getting the confidence to speak it.

Lucile - posted on 07/06/2009

1

5

0

Hello,



My husband is Mexican and we leave in Germany. I am French so I speak French to my daugther and in the day care she learns German. Daddy speaks spanish to her.

She started to speak and doesn't speak Spanish at all but we make her watch movies in Spanish so she can hear it too. She says words only in German and French today.

I hope it will work but I think she will choose only one or two languages at the beginning. The thing is never to give up. I have many friends with children that speak 2 or 3 languages and even if they started late (around 7), they do speak both languages eventually.

We shall not forget that their brains are "sponges" so they learn quickier than we do. You shall not be afraid to introduce a new language at home !

Good luck !

N - posted on 07/02/2009

8

3

0

I'm teaching my children how to speak creole and french. My husband is American the best way is to just speak to them. children are very resilient they will have no problems picking up both languages

Michelle - posted on 07/02/2009

48

10

5

My boysare all learning Spanish. There dad is Mexican so they should become pretty fluent.

Leigh-Ann - posted on 07/02/2009

3

9

0

my husband is german and i'm south african and we live in germany. my oldest son is now 5 years old and i only speak afrikaans to him from day 1. he understands everything and only started speaking afrikaans after we had a longer visit in south africa. my parents do not speak german at all, so he needs to speak either afrikaans or english. english is next on my list, but is not my mother-tongue.

Desiree - posted on 05/30/2009

127

6

10

we are teaching my son both english and spanish. my husbands family only speaks spanish and my family speaks only english. So he only talks to the baby in spanish and i talk to him in english that way he learns both of them from the very start, it is also helping me to learn spanish because i dont know it either.

Melissa - posted on 05/29/2009

22

43

3

I would love my Husband to teach our little one Portugese but so far he hgas made no real effort to do so. I guess she is onlt 6 months so plenty of time still.

Jaime - posted on 05/25/2009

7

7

0

My husband is Mexican and obviously, speaks fluent spanish. However, in our household we speak "spanglish". I think it is vital for our daughters to learn to speak, read, and write in Spanish- it is a part of them. I would hate for my children to feel like an outsider in their own culture simply because I didn't take the time to teach them. It is exhausting, but I think it's well worth it. Fortunately for us, we'll be living in Mexico starting in September. I imagine total immersion will be a great benefit. I know in our school district there is a spanish immersion school. I know there is a waiting list, but it is free. You may look into those types of options if you want your children to be bilingual.

Joann - posted on 05/19/2009

1

2

0

We are teaching my daughter who just turned one cantonese, mandarin, spanish and of course english. I try my best to speak to her in Cantonese, my mom talks to her in Mandarin. Her paternal grandma talks to her in Spanish. Sometimes I feel like she doesn't understand a word i say to her. But people told me it will take longer since we're speaking in so many different languages. We'll see what happens.

Kaleena - posted on 05/19/2009

17

8

4

We plan on raising our baby to know English, Spanish, and Mikisúkî (the native lang. of my husband's Indian Tribe). We shall see how it goes because we are relying on his parents to help us with the Spanish (his dad) and Mikisúkî (his mom) since neither of us are fluent in those two languages. We have already told this to the pediatrician we chose since there is a very likely chance that our child will not speak as early as most children because of the trilingual factor. It will be very beneficial to our child later on in life though!

Keisha - posted on 05/18/2009

264

3

32

My husband tries to teach our boys Spanish. I'm also learning the language myself. Its a part of their heritage and I really want them to learn the language.

Shelley - posted on 05/17/2009

3

52

0

My baby is going to speak Arabic (from his dad) and possibly some French. I speak English but have always had interests in other languages.

Lara - posted on 05/16/2009

5

5

0

My daughter is half lao's her Dad is full Lao's and i am a New Zealander {kiwi} i try 2 incarage Phuthasack 2 speck 2 Nicole in Lao's all though she understands it she gets painfully shy with it, and just nods, so he just sticks 2 the english and occasionally specks lao's 2 her when there is nobody watching.

[deleted account]

What I tell my 3-yr old girl is that people speak different languages and she needs to speak their language like I do. It doesn't matter if other people like her dad speak only one language. We are in the US and our main language is English but my daughter and I communicate in Japanese. We speak Japanese to our family in Japan. We try to speak Spanish to Spanish speaking people and French to French speakings.

Speaking would not be a problem in her future. Her big challenge is to write/read Chinese characters. I'm not very confident on that...

Raquel - posted on 03/25/2009

30

48

5

We have been exposing our little one to English, Spanish, and American Sign Language since day one. My husband and I are not deaf, but we are heavily involved in the Deaf Community.  Spanish is my first language and I really want her to learn all 3 languages well.  Right now, she says 50% of her words in English, 25% in Spanish, and 25% in ASL.  It's funny because she will say "more (ASL) agua (water in Spanish) mommy (English). 

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms