what language to teach my baby?

Kayleigh - posted on 05/08/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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im having a mixed baby (white and mexican) the father speaks spanish and english but not great gramaticaly correct english and i speak both also, but my spanish isnt always 100% theres a few things i get confused on. but i speak spanish better than he speaks english. and noone in his family speaks english and noone in mine spanish. and im worried if i teach my baby both early on he will be able to speak but wont be gramatically corect in one or either. so basically im wondering if anyone has any advice on which i should teach (english or spanish)..any advice is helpful. thank you.

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Eva - posted on 05/10/2010

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Both. Teach both Spanish and English to your child. Don't worry about Grammar. The "correct" spelling, writing, reading and speaking will come with formal teaching in school. If possible enroll your child in a program for native speakers early on in her life. If not possible through your public school system ... then enroll her in something where she will get exposed to other Hispanic /Latino kids who speak Spanish with her. This will help her to have friends that also speak both languages.

Get books that are bilingual. Dr. Suess is wonderful! All of the Dr. Suess books are translated into Spanish. Some other books are translated into both English and Spanish. Sing your baby songs in Spanish and involve her with both traditional American customs and Mexican customs.

Crystal - posted on 05/08/2010

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Hi! I have a son who is almost 1 year old. His dad speaks both spanish and english (My son is mexican and white) and i speak english. So his dad talks to him in spanish and i talk english. They say it might take them a lil longer to speak more clearly but is better bcuz they will know both languages!

Rochelle - posted on 05/12/2010

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Its better to teach them early, cause thats when they are learning their language skills. it won't hurt far as learning in school. You can try saying a word in both English then Spanish. or you only speak in English and your husband only speak Spanish to your child.

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Bri - posted on 04/11/2011

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my husband & i both are fluent in english & spanish, & we both speak to our daughter in both. she understands both very well. she isn't saying many words, but she understands just as much in english as she does in spanish. we mostly watch tv in english, but we put it in spanish a lot too. we just try to get both of the languages out there to her the same amount so she can learn both, & not one more than the other.

Brittany - posted on 06/19/2010

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well you should teach him both my auntie is puerto rican and her babys father is black and my auntie speaks both and she is teaching mimi both and she just turned two on the 16th of june and she knows both and she speaks both well have him teach her spanish and you teach her english

Althea - posted on 06/19/2010

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My son is half South-African and half Kenyan. At the moment he is only speaking English. But his Kenyan family speaks to him in Swahili which I find very annoying. But that is a battle I will never win. I, myself, am bilingual.
All I can say is let your child learn both langauges but let them master one first. That is what I am doing with my son because he will have to learn two other languages.
Hope this advice helps you.

Shaniqua - posted on 06/18/2010

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teach both i mean in the end if you both speak it chances are they will end up learning it anyway

Farol05 - posted on 06/17/2010

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I say teach your child both. He may not be grammatically correct at first, but he will learn from being around both sides of the family. He will also be way ahead in life, knowing how to speak both languages.

Olivia - posted on 06/10/2010

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I too have had this question in mind. My son is only 2 months old and both my husband and I speak english in our home. Hubby however speaks arabic much better than he does english. I am excited that I may also learn some arabic while he teaches our little man. I agree that in the future, it will be of great benefit to him, especially when speaking with his fathers family and for future career options

Keri - posted on 06/10/2010

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I have a 5 yr old daughter who is white and honduren and her father speaks both english and spanish i on the other hand understand it but wont speak and he speaks to her in spanish and engish. teach the child both it will help them in teh long run educationaly and work wise later :) good luck and congrats.

KayCee - posted on 06/08/2010

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I just finished my degree and endorsement in bilingual education, and agree with many other posters- if you speak to the baby in English, and your husband does in Spanish, it's ideal. Separating the languages by context (one language with a certain person, place, or activity) eliminates any initial confusion. You'll have a bilingual kid who'll be primed to be a biliterate adult, and that's very valuable in many ways. Congrats!

Tammy - posted on 06/08/2010

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Teach both. Kids learn language skills very early in life. Let daddy teach more spanish grammar but there's no harm in you reinforcing the language skills. You teach him English and correct the grammar as you notice mistakes, but remember all little kids make mistakes with grammar no matter what language they speak. That comes with practice. Besides, your child will benefit from being bilingual.

Rachel - posted on 06/08/2010

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Teaching your baby both languages will be very useful in the future. My husband speaks Arabic and I speak English. We plan on teaching our son both languages. Maybe you can enlist those other family members who speak English and Spanish fluently to help your baby learn the languages, that way you'll know he's learning proper grammar.

Toni - posted on 06/07/2010

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i have the same issues because my daughter is mexican and black and she loves for us to speak to her in both languages, so im teaching her both languages

Katarina - posted on 06/04/2010

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Definitely go for both! And dont worry about the grammar; it is such an advantage to be bilingual! My son is 16 and is bilingual - English/Swedish and it is so useful for him!

Tiffany - posted on 06/04/2010

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As a language therapist, both languages should be spoken to your child. Grammar does matter first and foremost. So if you speak better English than your husband, you should speak only English and let your husband speak only Spanish. your child will learn to code switch.

Anna - posted on 06/03/2010

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I agree with everyone, teach your child both... I wish my husband woudl teach our children more of his native language

Lynn - posted on 06/03/2010

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Both of my children speak English. They understand Khmer when spoken to, but always answer back in English. We speak English at home, but we still try to use some words in Khmer. I've found that they pick up very quickly watching kids shows - like my son speaks some Spanish he has picked up from Dora the Explorer and some Chinese he has picked up from Kilan. Unfortunately, I have only been able to find a few Khmer children's shows on the internet. My daughter is in 2nd grade and they do teach Spanish in elementary school in Guilford county - they also have magnet schools that are Spanish emersion - they only speak Spanish in school. It would be great to speak both languages at home and then try to get your child into a Spanish emersion magnet school. That way he will become fluent in both much easier. When you speak a sentence to your child, first say it in one language and then the other -- or you could say it in English and then emphasize the main word or idea in Spanish afterwards. For example, "Are you hungry?" in English and then say "you hungry" in Spanish. or "No jumping on the bed" in English and then " No jumping" in Spanish.

Katja - posted on 06/03/2010

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Hi,
we're going to educate our daughter bilingual, the father speaks only Portugese with her and I only German, she understands us both (11 months). It will take a little time longer till she starts to speak, but bilingual education has only advantages.

Shea - posted on 06/02/2010

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Hi Kayleigh! Truth is the earlier they learn the easier it is for them. Speak both It'll give your child a heads up so to speak.. and don't worry about "correct" English or Spanish. that will come later on. Establishing a good bilingual structure will ensure his comfort with both languages. Having both languages will also give him a feeling of closeness with his heritage. In my opinion that in itself is so important. The feeling of acceptance bumped up a notch or 2 =) always a good thing. This way he will be able to communicate with his paternal family as well as his maternal. Best of both worlds!

Jodell - posted on 05/31/2010

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Okay I speak German and English and her father swahlii and his tribes language. This has to be confusing so what to give up?

Jennifer - posted on 05/30/2010

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I will just follow suit, and 3rd everyone else's opinions!!! By all means teach your baby both languages!! He/She will benifit tremendouslly from this learning experence. That will be a very precious gift that you and her father will give her/him.

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I would teach your baby both. Doesn't matter if it's not 100% correct or not. Most schools teach spanish as a second language anyways. Just think how much your baby will be ahead. They can learn "proper" spanish there. Most Mexican's don't speak "proper" spanish anyways its usually slang or Spanglish. I mean think about it, most people don't speak "proper" English all the time. My baby is half white and half mexican too we are teaching her spanish.

Alexandra - posted on 05/27/2010

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Well in my family we speak to the children in both languages. My parents speak strictly spanish to the kids while my sister and i speak both english and spanish (mostly englsh) and developmentaly they are supposed to take a little longer to talk because their brains are learning to languages at once but my nephew began speaking right on time and speaks both languages perfectly (he 2 years old) my son is only 5 weeks so he obviously doesnt talk yet. My cousin did it the same way and she got the same outcome with her daughter so it cant hurt your child to learn both languages it will only benefit him/her, besides it will be the first to know both languages.

Alesha - posted on 05/24/2010

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i would deffinately teach your child both languages so your baby will be able to communicate with both sides of its family...but if you are living in the us i would make sure your baby knows english well to since that is the spoken language. but i think its great to know both languages! good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 05/23/2010

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I myself am half Mexican and half white. My parents taught me both at a very early age. As far as being gramatically correct a lot of spanish from Mexico is not the formal Spanish from Spain so there is really no need to be worried. I still don't know everything in Spanish but it's good to even know a little with our world now. I am planning to finish school and go into nursing and it will help a lot when your son is older in getting a job if he is bilingual. Just my opinion though. You should do what you and your husband want. :)

Marla - posted on 05/23/2010

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Teach your child both. You baby is young and they usuall catch on to the two laguages fast. When she ask what is this you tell what it is in english and in spanish. Get the father to talk to her in spanish and you talk care of the english I guarantee she will speak both better than you too, eventually. I stopped my son from learning french and now he has hates it and doesn't want to learn. My daughter I started from when she was young and she is 13 years old and she's fully bilingual. We do the same thing with my youngest daughter. English is my language so I speak to her in english and any french words I know I speak to her but I leave the rest of the french communications to her dad.

Jessica - posted on 05/22/2010

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I deff agree with what everybody is saying. Arianna is 3 months old and her father speaks to her in Spanish and I speak to her in English. I think it will deff help in the long run. Her fathers family does not speak much english so they greatly appreciate me wanting to teach her both languages.

Christa - posted on 05/21/2010

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I agree, teach both! I have a 5 year old daughter who my husband has been speaking German to since birth (I speak English to her). My in-laws don't speak English so it's important that our daughter speaks both languges.

DeDe - posted on 05/20/2010

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Teach your child both languages! It's always best to know 2 language. The younger the child learns 2 languages, the better. Your child will go through a time when code-switching is used (using both languages at the same time). But it's okay. Make sure that you work with your child at home when school starts to ensure that the child knows correct English. Correct the child when he doesn't speak correctly. Don't say, "No...that's not right." If the child says, "Red is the car." You just repeat the correct statement, "Yes, the car is red." This is how all children learn. Good luck but it's great to have bi-lingual children. They will have an upper hand in the future when looking for jobs.

Stacy - posted on 05/11/2010

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I think it's a good idea to learn both....my son is 11 and has been in a bi-lingual program since kindergarten. He says he doesn't like it anymore but by the time the next school year starts, he is ready to get into it again. I didn't like the idea at first but think of their futures...better job opportunities speaking more than 1 language.

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the earlier you teach them the better they will be able to pick it up. as long as you are consistent with the proper grammar in both languages they should have no problem

Jacki - posted on 05/09/2010

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I agree with the above post, a speech language pathologist told me that one parent is supposed to speak one language, and the other parent speak English until the age of 2 then there is no need for separation.

Aicha - posted on 05/08/2010

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Hi I am teaching my daughter bilingual languages from birth she coos and speaks both English and Arabic , what we do is have one parent speak in one language like my husband speaks Arabic and I speak English

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