Any other mothers with bilingual children?

Jenni - posted on 02/18/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son will be starting french immersion in the fall. I'm just curious about other mom's experiences and how their children adapted when the 2nd language was not introduced early on?



I haven't spoke french in the home with him until recently. I've begun introducing colours, numbers, simple objects. I also use youtube videos for kindergarteners. I tell him the names of various objects in his daily routine. And incorporate the language into his bedtime stories by pointing out the french word for certain objects and colours. We've also started introducing the french alphabet.



I also want to add that my knowledge of the french language is a little limited. I took core french until grade 13 but I am not fluent. I do know enough to help him in the early stages. I am planning on brushing up with him and trying to stay two steps ahead of him!



So I'm just looking for some more ideas on how else I can help him, what helped your child, as well as your own experiences with the introduction of a second language.

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Jenni - posted on 02/18/2012

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I've forgotten a lot, but it is coming back. I did have an easy time with the language in school as far as grammar and written work. But I struggled with oral french. I have a horrible accent! But practicing pronunciation myself.



We don't have to introduce them to it at home. The school treats junior kindergartners as though they have no knowledge of the language upon entering school. But I would like to prepare him for it and have a general introduction so the transition is smoother for him. They begin at 20% instruction in french but by the end of JK are at 80% instruction in french.



There is a high drop out rate in the beginning grades of french immersion. Many kids struggle. So I'd like to ensure he gets a head start and plenty of additional help at home.

Tam - posted on 02/18/2012

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I havent introduced it to my kids, but when I was younger I lived in Germany, and learned quite a bit of German.



Unfortunately, when my family moved back to the US, I no longer had the immersion and my folks didn't really keep up with it. So now, while I remember some grammar, about 100 words or so, and can have a halting, stilted conversation very slowly, I am no longer really 'fluent' like I was when I was there.



I guess I'm just saying, you don't use it, you'll lose it. So if you want him to be bilingual, you'll probably need to stick to it pretty good.

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