To speak in different languages to your children or not.

Deniza - posted on 12/09/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have two children, 3 and a half and 2 years old.We are from Macedeonia, so they speak Macedonian.I am an English teacher and my husband speaks German.Is it a good idea to speak to them in three different languages.If you think it is too early when is a good idea to start?

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Camie - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think it is great! I studied this for my Thesis. The studies say that intoducing a 2nd language from birth is good. Your child might be behind in both at first, but will catch up later. One of the things that I learned from teaching spanish speakers is that it helps them if they are biliterate.

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Cecile - posted on 07/10/2013

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No, it is not too early. I have been teching English and French to Toddlers for the past 25 years and my own daughter speaks 3 languages fluently because exposed very young. As long as it is fun, by all means, do it!

Keri - posted on 01/01/2011

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The earlier you start with foreign languages the better. There are some times when children will mix the languages and it could give them trouble reading/writing during the early years of school, so be ready.

[deleted account]

It is never to young but you will have a bit of a time teaching them to talk in one language at a time. :)

good luck and god bless

Melanie - posted on 12/27/2010

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I live in Italy and my husband is Italian, my children speak both (well the little one is only 21months but she says and understands words in both languages). I think it's important not to switch to often which is why it's easier with two languages than with three - I always speak English and my husband Italian. I would say the earlier the better - there is no reason whatsoever to wait, it gets more difficult with age not easier. Good luck!

Aicha - posted on 12/26/2010

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my husband speaks arabic and french to our daughter and I speak english , she knows more arabic and french than english but the doctor says she will catch up on english

Hope - posted on 12/25/2010

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I am not bilingual, but have several friends who are. My advice, don't switch back and forth between the languages, i.e saying some words in english and others in Macedonian. I have a friend who only speaks to her daughter in French and the dad only speaks in English (he also speaks french but is American). The speech might be a little delayed but they are better off learning it now.

Angie - posted on 12/22/2010

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I live in Mexico and when my daughter was born I did a bit of research on mulit-lingual homes. Here are some thoughts:
~Start as early as possible
~It is best to learn from a native speaker, and ok to learn from a fluent speaker. BUT, if your 2nd language isn 'tvery strong, don't speak it to the kids, it will teach them poorly. For exmple, my spanish is functional. I don't try to teach my daughter any spanish; i only speak to her in certain situations.
~Use parent specific or situation specific or location specific languages. For example, your husband ALWAYS speaks German to them. Or in restaurants, stores, playgrounds you speak English. Or when ever we talk with Grandma we speak Macedonian. The reason behind this is that if everyone is always switching languages, the kids will blend them and will be confused about syntax. Additionally, they need to know/ be comfortable with a "safe" place - situations or people they know will be in a particular language.

Of course, if you don't do those things I think the kids will still be better off than without the other languages. They might have some difficulty down the road - nut that is a good problem to have.

This is the book I read:
http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Bilingual-...

~Angie

Ashley - posted on 12/18/2010

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ABSOLUTELY! Start at birth if you can, but any exposure before age 5 is key. After age five it is harder to open that part of their minds up. My husband speaks 2 languages besides English, but has only spoken to my son in 1. He isn't home enough to really teach him a lot, so he is concerned he will just mix the two together. We have many many friends who are from Russia and know Armenian and they speak both in their house - in fact, most of them exclude English until they go to school so they will know the family language. Children have the ability to learn several languages at once. I also suggest cartoons and books, and we have used a new DVD collection out called "Little Pim" - they are terrific. I know they have German for sure. They have helped me learn too. Also, check out the page I will post at the bottom - lots of good info. I highly reccomend it. My son is in preschool now and they claim he has some slight language delays. I asked his doctor about it, and she said that is common for kids raised in a multilingual home, but it's fine - they catch up quickly and then they know more than one language, as opposed to classmates that only know one. She said don't be concerned - he will be fine. ALSO the exposure to the diversity of the world is priceless.
http://www.multilingualliving.com/
http://www.bilingualfamiliesconnect.com/...

Good luck!

Rachel - posted on 12/18/2010

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I agree with other people that you should start right from the beginning. Little ones soak it up so much easier than adults. We speak english and spanish to our daughter and since she is 1/2 american and 1/2 mexican she should know her culture and languages. I can't wait for one day to go to Mexico and she will learn so much there and right away be able to understand and we wont have to worry about her not being able to talk to anyone. And since birth and before we have always spoken both languages and now at almost 3 years old she understand both well and talks both but english is her dominat language. She even changes them if we say one thing she will say it in the other language. It's amazing to just hear her talk sometimes and to know you are teaching them the languages.

Julie - posted on 12/18/2010

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Always speak the same language to your kid from day 1 and be consistent - do not switch language when talking to them. My daughter is 2 1/2 and speaks three languages - French from momie, german from daddy and english from daycare. I know one day she will pick a dominant language but at at least she will have the basics in all three.

Lol - posted on 12/17/2010

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start from birth - definately. This is when childrens brains are hardwired to learn a new language if you think about it. My friend is german, her hubby Scots, her 3 year old is bilingual and always translates into English for me when he has spoken to mum in german. It is something that will stay with them the rest of their life giving them a headstart in other things

Laurie - posted on 12/15/2010

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They will pick it up very quickly and you will find that they will respond in whatever language you happen to be speaking to them at the time. They will be able to easily switch back and forth between the three languages and once they are fluent in all three won't get the words of one language mixed up with the other - especially in your case since English, German and Macedonian are quite different from each other.

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I think its a great idea to speak all three. I would start now. They may get a little confused as they are learning, but they will pick it up much easier now than later.

Michelle - posted on 12/12/2010

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I think it is a brilliant idea. If it wasn't I would be in trouble since my husband speaks his native language to our children. Keep it up!

Julieann - posted on 12/12/2010

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Dear Deniza, your chidren are blessed to have you as thier Mother! Happy Holidays to you and your family. J

Karina - posted on 12/10/2010

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we speak 3 languages we speak spanish portoguese and english. i had the same idea we speak all 3 of it and i hope it dont confuse him but he understand it all

Julieann - posted on 12/10/2010

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I think it's a incredible idea! When I was growing up I, now, looking back would have been so greatful if my parents could speak in other languages!!!! I don't think it's ever to soon. These are their primary years! Best time is now. Personal opinion.

[deleted account]

I think you should start from birth. In today's economy, speaking more than one language could be the deal breaker between you and someone else getting a job (in ANY field). It also enriches their lives, for travel, they#ll know the language and it helps build confidence and cultural knowledge in children!

My advice? JUST DO IT!

Amy - posted on 12/09/2010

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Start from day one. In all languages. We even show the kids one item, sign it, then say it in the languages we know. My son watches many bollywood films with me and knows some hindi. I think whatever they can get as often as they can get it is fantastic. The younger the better so they can develop the phonetics properly, right? :D

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