Speak English !!!

Jess - posted on 03/08/2010 ( 45 moms have responded )

1,806

3

97

My Inlaws are very lovely people and they adore my daughter, and treat me very well ! BUT they are Italian, and speak pretty much only Italian in their home. They can speak english and they do speak to me in English, but they speak to my 7 month old daughter in Italian.



I did a lot of research on bilingual children and discovered some interesting facts. I expressed this with my partner and we decided we would only speak English to our daughter. But his parents don't respect that decision.



A girl friend of mine also did some research on the topic, complety seperate to my search and without any influence from me, and she also came up with the same results.



Basically from what we have learnt and my partners siblings have experienced this personally. Children who are taught multiple languages from birth struggle to understand either language. They take longer to develope their language skills as a result and when they do speak they often mix up the 2 different languages. This means they tend to struggle in social situations with other children and they struggle at school.



It has been found that a baby can tell if someone is speaking a foreign language. They understand their own native tongue, but when someone changes languages a baby recognises the difference, this confusses them, makes them uncomfortable and can even scare them.



My Inlaws go up to my daughter and get excited and say "Bella, Bella, Bella... Bella Bambino." Which for anyone who doesn't speak italian means, beautiful baby. Which is sweet and all but it scares my daughter the look on her face says it all and you can clearly see the change in her body language and she snuggles into me for dear life !



If they want to call her beautful by all means they are welcome to. but in English.... speak her language. They can speak english !!!



I had considered sending my daughter to Italian speach classes, but decided against it after finding out this info. So when I went looking for info, I didn't do it with any preconceived notions. This decision is certainly not racial motivated.



Am I being unreasonable ? There is a right way to teach a baby/child a second language, but its meant to be done daily for 1 hour a day. Ava doesn't see her grandparents daily, so this wouldn't work for her.



I just don't want to make speach and learning english any harder for her !



What do you think ???

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Marabeth - posted on 03/10/2010

394

7

39

just another note.. i've only been a mother for a year now but i've learned that it's generally a good idea to indulge grandparents. i never had grandparents growing up and am so excited my daughter has such a loving and close relationship with hers.. besides they're telling her how beautiful she is.. that's a *good* thing. it's not like they're cussing her out or telling her she's a spoiled brat. you should feel lucky she has such affectionate and interesting grandparents.

Tah - posted on 03/08/2010

7,412

22

400

there are also studies that say we teach children a second language too late..if you try to start in middle school, as we here do, it takes longer to understand. we studied those studies in psych last semester and talked about it in sociology this semester..i think she will be fine, you said yourself say its not a daily so worse case she learns a second language early. it won't affect her learning english...she probably gets scared because they are excited, not because they are speaking in italian...

Esther - posted on 03/08/2010

3,513

32

144

I think you need to do some more research. Check out this website for example: http://www.multilingualchildren.org/gett...



Research has shown that children who know at least two languages have expanded capabilities with respect to all three of the main functions of language: communicating, thinking and learning about one's culture. It also enhances their ability to think abstractly as well as creatively.



They acquire a capacity called "metalinguistic awareness", which is one of the foundational skills for learning how to read & write. This skill will also help them when they want or need to learn a third (or fourth or fifth) language later in life.



Bi-linguals also get enhanced skills outside of language that stem from learning and processing two languages - especially in the realm of thinking skills. New findings even indicate that bi-lingualism is a hedge against mental aging.



They also develop a broader worldview and social understanding, which hopefully contributes to a more tolerant attitude.



Young bi-lingual children who choose between languages many times a day, develop greater awareness of the languages involved and are better at establishing an abstract connection between letters & sounds. That often results in them becoming better writers and more effective users of language because they have a better understanding of how language works.



Bi-lingual children also develop an awareness of the arbitrariness of words. They understand that there is no real connection between a word and it's meaning, that it is an arbitrary label that has been assigned. So they understand that the word "dog" can also be replaced with "hond" (Dutch for dog) or "chien" (French for dog) and still have the same meaning. Because of that, it is much easier for them to learn new languages, beyond the two they've been taught from early childhood. This ability to think abstractly is related to academic success. The better a child does on metalinguistic awareness tasks, the better the child does in school. Children with less awareness do worse.



I could go on & on. If you want to read more about it I would recommend "Raising a bi-lingual child" by Barbara Zurer Pearson.



My husband and I are raising our son to be bi-lingual and I think it's one of the greatest gifts we could ever give him. We are both Dutch and we only speak Dutch to him in our home. He goes to daycare 5 days a week and of course they speak English to him there. One teacher even speaks Spanish to him and he understands that too and has picked up a few Spanish words as well. I think that's all FANTASTIC.



Research has shown that kids who are raised bi-lingual tend to start speaking a little later than their peers. Simply because they have more information to sort through in their minds before they can speak. They will also sometimes mix languages for a while, but there are strategies to help them separate the two, the main ones being MLAT (Minority language at home) and "OPOL" (one parent one language).



My son started speaking at 14 months and was putting together rudimentary sentences well before 18 months. So he wasn't delayed at all. But if he had been, that would have been fine too. By kindergarten, bi-lingual kids speak as well in BOTH languages as monolingual kids do in one. My son used to mainly speak in Dutch but lately he's been speaking more in English. He fully understands that they are two languages though and we really didn't have to put much effort into helping him understand that (we use the MLAT method). If I ask him what "moon" is in Dutch he will translate it. When he was sick months ago (he was probably 22 months at the time) he got sick and was throwing up. In Dutch throwing up is "overgeven" (litterally translated "giving up"). However, he kept saying to us "Lucas gooien" (which means Lucas throwing). Clearly he had heard the term "throwing up" at daycare and was translating it to the dutch word for throwing (gooien) for our benefit. I think that's astounding!



In short, I think you should embrace your inlaws attempt to teach your daughter Italian. You should be all over it! It is a wonderful thing to be able to be fluent in multiple languages.

Tara - posted on 08/20/2010

2,567

14

114

I have to disagree with you, not sure where you got your research but having done a ton of research myself because we homeschool our children. I have found through research that babies learn languages easier and faster when they are taught or exposed to different languages at a young age.
Not only does this exposure help them to learn other languages easier, it helps them learn a lot of things easier. Their brains become hardwired by a certain age, teaching a second language after that age is difficult. When kids brains learn to hear and understand different tongues, their brains develop differently, making them more accessible to other types of lateral learning.
I would say allow your inlaws the freedom to share their mother tongue with their grand daughter. She will slowly pick up words from them and she will learn to understand their body language when they speak to her.
Don't miss out on this opportunity for your childs brain to be enriched.
:)Tara

[deleted account]

Jess i agree with you i speak two languages but i choose to speak only english in the house because i think its rude to speak welsh in front of my husband who doesnt understand a word of it. So its not denying my heritage or fear of offending its down to i think its ignorant to talk in a language my husband doesnt understand.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

45 Comments

View replies by

Valerie - posted on 08/21/2010

64

0

2

growing up in quebec, I remember some of the kids not having a firm grasp of either language, confusing them, using francisms or anglicisms... but they were really the minority. The pros outway the cons - even if both languages are a bit busted - just look at Jean Chetien (former 2 term Canadian Prime-Minister for you non-Canadians)

Jackie - posted on 08/20/2010

1,415

44

72

I tend to agree with most everybody else. I've always had the understanding that that if you are Bi-lingual you use a larger part of your brain and therefor can process and retain alot more information than the norm...

[deleted account]

My son and my step-sons all speak French AND English. They are raised that way and can understand both languages just fine. They do have a preference for English BUT are still fluent in both languages. Only one of them has trouble in school and it doesn't have anything to do with language.

My husband, sister-in-laws and my baby sister were also all raised with both language growing up. They have no problem whatsoever. Bilingualism is very important to our family and is part of our culture. Kids learn quickly. it's a great opportunity for children to learn more languages and master it more easily.

i have no clue where you got that research information but I am not inclined to believing any of it.

Stifler's - posted on 08/19/2010

15,141

154

604

They probably aren't even doing it on purpose. Italian is their first language, and I've heard people say that they feel and think in their first language. It's like that IDS baby talk thing, it probably just comes out in Italian involuntarily like how we speak in a higher tone without meaning to or even trying. When she's older they might start talking to her in English when they realise that she can't understand what they are saying.

Sharon - posted on 08/19/2010

11,585

12

1315

Coming from a bilingual home I need to disagree with you.

I was raised bilingual - none of it has stuck with me but I pick up languages REALLY fast. Most likely because my brain was wired from a really young age to easily accept those new and odd pronunciations. Everything from french to turkish - I get complimented on my accent and enunciation.

My kids weren't raised as intently in two languages as I was and have a more difficult time picking up the local second language around here but they do the pronunciation just fine once they do get it.

Being military - most of my friends were bilingual. We all did really well in languages except those whose parents shunned the second language.

For your daughter - just hearing the language - I seriously doubt the part time hearing of it will negatively affect her in any way. I can only see beneficial attributes for her.

By the way - my own research came up the opposite of yours.

Jessica - posted on 08/19/2010

986

20

64

I agree that it would annoy me that they continue doing something you ask them not to. But, like pretty much everyone else has said, I think you may be missing some research on the bi-lingual thing. I too have only heard that it is beneficial to children to be brought up learning more than one language. Something you might want to look into more.

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

Well lucky they arn't saying that..... firstly because its terrible and secondly because Im sure they only speak Italian. Hehehe.... John swears a lot in Italian (its the only time he speaks Italian). So I know a loose translation of a few of his favourites ! Ava is pretty brown these days too.... I guess that makes me the pinche quera !

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

Traci, I gotta wake John up to get that translated !!! Im guessing it means something bad though

[deleted account]

I would pick your battles if i was you unless something really really bugs you i'd just ignore it and let them carry on. They obviously love their grandchild and its great for your little ones to have loving grandparents.

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

I've come to learnt that ! Like I said they are lovely and I can't say we have any horror stories, just a few things that need some work. I mean how many inlaws normally import Italian leather handbags to say thanks for giving us a grandchild ? Planning baby number 2.... can't wait to see what I get next time.... perhaps a car ??? Hehehe

[deleted account]

Think thats something you'll have to get used to im afraid grandparents are notorious for doing everything you dont want them to. Its grandparents right to annoy the hell out of you lol.

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

It doesn't bother me that they speak to her in Italian, its that they do it knowing we have asked them not to. Kind of like when you tell your kids not to do something and they do it anyway.... it makes you want to enforce the rules just that little bit more ! If my Italian partner doesn't want his own daughter learning Italian, then his parents should respect that !

[deleted account]

I honestly dont think it will hurt her or confuse her but if it really bothers you then tell them to stop

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

I would love for my partner to speak some sweet Italian to me... but he doesn't want to. I asked him today, I showed him this post, because I really wanted to make sure I wasn't dening him the chance to be himself. He simply doesn't want to speak Italian, (he would just have to translate it anyway). I asked him to speak Italian to our daughter today. I wanted to see if she got upset when he did rather than his parents.... he refused. He said he doesn't want to learn it yet.



Which brings me back to one of the original questions of.... should his parents respect that decision and only speak English to her aswell ?

Jess - posted on 03/10/2010

1,806

3

97

Sharon have you ever met an Italian thats a push over ?? I certaintly haven't. so No my partner isn't pressured into speaking English. Nor does he denie his heritage. I showed my partner your post just to be sure he wasn't secretly screaming on the inside...... he was rather amused at your comments, so no I don't think he is sad ! Here is a news flash for you... Not everybody feels the need to bust out a second language ! And he is a grown man... if he wasn't happy he would tell me, (we have that kind of grown up relationship) !

Sharon - posted on 03/10/2010

11,585

12

1315

Jess - either he does want to but is afraid to offend you or he denies his heritage - its sad all the way around.

Traci - posted on 03/10/2010

556

25

63

3 things:

1) My husband (Irish-Hungarian descent, about as white bread as they come) was adopted by his step father who is Hispanic. His adoptive grandmother only spoke Spanish in the home. Because my husband didn't know Spanish at his tender age (around 6 or 7, IIRC), he was convinced that "Pinche guero" was a term of endearment from his grandmother, until he was enlisted and was stationed in El Paso, TX. Haha, okay, so that may not really be proving any point, but it's kind of funny.

2) My grandfather is a native Spanish speaker from San Igancio, CO. When my mother and aunt were growing up (in the 60's), he did not speak Spanish in the home for fear that they would be treated as 'spics' or 'wetbacks', as he was so accustomed to. I find that really, really sad that they didn't grow up speaking a second langauge, and thusly, I didn't either. However, once myself and my cousins came along, my grandfather had risen above it, and we were spoken to quite often in Spanish, and I found that I excelled more then my fellow students in Spanish classes in HS, as I already had the basis of how to form/say the words in my head. That makes little sense, I know.

3) When said grandfather speaks to my 7 mo old, she is FASCINATED with it. She can't take her eyes of his mouth while he's talking to her. Also, I have a close friend who is from Egypt, and Reagan LOVES to listen to her talk Arabic. I haven't a clue what she is saying, but I never see that child so enthralled with someone talking as she is when Nagwa is yammering on about whatever she is yammering on about. I even went as far as to look up 'habibi' (or, the feminine 'habibti') but i can't say it with nearly the grace and inflection of a native speaker.

Irene - posted on 03/10/2010

133

12

14

Jess,

Yeah, that information you received from research is quite flawed, indeed.

I know MANY people from bilingual homes and they are more excelled in English than most of those who grew up in single language households. I think you need to find some research from more reputable sources.

That being said, I do think your in-laws need to respect your wishes, no matter what they are. As long as you have made the decision as a couple, it should be accepted and respected, even if it is not the right thinking in their minds.

[deleted account]

I grew up speaking only english but my children went to a welsh playgroup and a welsh primary school so they are all bilingual. They have never struggled with the difference between the two languages they speak english at home and welsh at school. I would let them speak italian to your child i cant see it doing her any harm and if they see her often enough she will become bilingual and have no problems. The only children who seem to have problems with bilingualism in my experience are people with dyslexia and speech problems.

Jess - posted on 03/10/2010

1,806

3

97

Sharon, what makes you think my parnter wants to speak Italian ? I thinks its rather rude of you to make such an assumption..... Haven't we all been saying debates are better when people ask and get clarrifiaction, rather than assuming ?

Jennifer - posted on 03/09/2010

145

11

15

I grew up in a bi-lingual household, and I have many friends who grew up in a bi-lingual households. Growing up, my mother mainly made me speak to her in English because she was afraid I would have an accent. However, for the first 3 years of my life, I only spoke Chinese. I learned English from my French step-grandmother at 3, so I actually began speaking English with a French accent. I now have the standard mid-west American accent when I speak, and none of my friends who were forced to speak Chinese at home have accents.



I do have word finding difficulties sometimes, but it's never impeded my life. And, from what I can tell among all my bi-lingual friends, none of them have it. But, on the other hand, learning new languages is very easy for me. I also know that I think more in concepts than in words. That has been helpful for me in my life. I may not have gotten a prefect 800 on the verbal part of my SATs, but I still scored in the 90th percentile.



Some of my friends growing up would speak in "Chinglish" which is a mixture of Chinese and English that is often grammatically incorrect in both languages, sometimes even mixing both languages in 1 new word. However, they only spoke it when they were in the company of others they knew would understand what they were saying, and they always knew what they were doing. Sometimes a concept is easier to express in one language over another.



For my child, I totally appreciate my mother speaking to him in Chinese, and I would like for her to be around him more to do it. I'm seriously considering enrolling him in a private school that teaches Spanish starting in Kindergarten. I think knowing 2 languages helped my mind develop, and I want that for him.



Last point, there are parts in the world where it is standard to know more than 1 language. For example, in China, everyone knows their local dialect (Shanghaiese, Cantonese, etc) and the national dialect (Mandarin). In some parts of Asia, people grow up speaking 3 or more languages.

Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

11,585

12

1315

Ok I read some of the responses....



1. even a "dialect" is a part of a pure language. Its the difference of Americans from Georgia and Americans from Boston. They understand each other perfectly fine.



My mother speaks "high japanese" or maybe proper japanese. Its the difference between proper british and cockney british. They still understand each other and its still british... even if it is mangled, lol.



I feel sorry for your husband for having to hide his ability to speak a second language and not share it with your daughter.

Sharon - posted on 03/09/2010

11,585

12

1315

I think you're wrong. That research is the findings from the 50's and 60's.



I say this being a child who grew up in a multilingual home and living in various foreign countries. I never struggled to understand either language or any of the languages. And now I have an excellent ear and can tell you what language someone is speaking and generally know a few words.



Your inlaws are doing your daughter a favor even if she only learns a few phrases in italian.

Lea - posted on 03/09/2010

540

11

21

From what you are saying, I do not think its the language thats confusing her. Other cultures have different mannerisms and body language. Toddlers read more your body language than what you say a lot of the time. I don't agree that its bad for her to hear Italian. On the contrary, being bilingual is a big advantage and will make her smarter.

Esther - posted on 03/09/2010

3,513

32

144

Wow Patricia. Not sure what I did to deserve the vehemence with which you responded. I thought I was being pretty nice. But I'll respond to your comments in the separate thread you are starting. As for the OP, I think I gave a pretty elaborate response to that as well.

[deleted account]

Quoting Patricia Lemke "...I worked at a Jewish camp one summer and was absolutely intrigued by their culture and their tongue...it was a Jewish camp, therefore I was not offended by them speaking in their language. "

Can you clarify what you mean by this? Judaism is a religion, not a language. Was it Hebrew you meant to say? Perhaps Yiddish? Jews all over the world speak various languages, my Lithuanian ancestors spoke Yiddish, so I was just curious by what you meant by the Jewish people speaking their langauge.

Esther - posted on 03/09/2010

3,513

32

144

Patricia - I get what you're saying and I don't think you don't embrace diversity, I just don't think people should be required to speak English only in a work setting. I don't think there is anything wrong with them speaking in their native tongue to eachother. The rule should be not to say anything rude. But if they wanted to say something rude and only spoke English, they would just whisper (or send an email). Rude people will be rude people in any language. I do agree that when you move to another country you should try to master their language. I am an immigrant to the US myself and I like to think I'm pretty fluent in English. However, that does not stop me from speaking Dutch as well. In a work setting or otherwise. And I don't think I should have to. Maybe you can make this a separate thread and see what other people think! It could be a good discussion.

[deleted account]

Everything I've seen and heard says the exact opposite of what you're saying. Our language skills are best developed when we're young. One of the reasons that many Americans have trouble learning languages is that we do not start learning them until way after that optimum time for language acquisition. If I had a way to teach my child another language-a friend or family member or professional classes nearby-I would start doing so at an early age.

Jess - posted on 03/08/2010

1,806

3

97

Thank you all for your advice, and your personal experience, It was really what I was after. I certainly don't have a uni degree on the subject, just a google search !



To answer a few questions:



Sharon: No my partner doesn't speak Italian to our daughter, ever ! He wants her to have a firm grasp on English and then when she is older send her to Italian lessons. He watched his older brother struggle a lot at school, being teased and tormented, struggling to pass his subjects and not understanding what people were saying, because he hadnt been taught how to go between English and Italian.



Dana: I'm certainly not questioning people's intellegence, but pointing out what it means, as I didn't know myself when I first heard it. So its reasonable that other people may not know either. I certainly don't live under a rock, its just not a term I had come across before.



Erin: I didn't go looking for the research. As I mentioned, I was looking for Italian school's in my area and the research came up with that search.... you know how google is! Put in any subject and google will give you a link to ebay for crying out loud ! So I was suprised at this research, and then I read something very similar in a mother & baby magazine a few days later. I spoke to a good friend about this, and she had already done some research on this and she confirmed what I had read.



I should probably mention that my in laws don't speak pure Italian, they speak a dialect, and if they teach my daughter "their" Italian, she will only be understand by a very small group of people. So that is why I was looking into schools. My inlaws would never say anything in Italian, they weren't prepared to say in English. They are very lovely as I mentioned but they just don't respect our wishes !

[deleted account]

I understand that you are the parent and should have your wishes respected. But do you think being exposed to a 2nd language is truly damaging? Doesn;t your husband ever speak to his daughter in Italian? Ever? There are so many bigger issues out there that I find this to be petty. I also have to disagree with the whole language input/output issue. I did one of my graduate level research papers on 2nd language exposure and I never came across one study that said exposure was a horrible thing. If anything, it was all positive. But like I said, since you are the parents, you should have your concerns respected. But I will say you would be doing a great disservice by not allowing your child to be exposed to a foreign language. Big deal, this is America. By the time your daughter is out there competing for jobs on the global market, a 2nd language will almost be a standard requirement. I am very glad my son is learning Spanish in preschool and has made huge gains speaking in simple sentences.

Esther - posted on 03/08/2010

3,513

32

144

This is kind of off on a tangent, but Patricia - I work for a large firm (hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide and about 8000 in my building alone) and they come from all over the world. People speak languages I don't understand around me ALL the time and I speak Dutch to some fellow Dutchies too. It wouldn't even occur to me to think they would be speaking badly or sexually about me at all. I'm not that interesting. They are just having a conversation in their native language. Nothing more nothing less. I personally enjoy the diversity.

[deleted account]

if u think 4 her 2 learn italian she should do it an hour/dy then do it that way! maybe then she would feel more comfortable when seeing your in laws. maybe daddy should talk to her in italian, and maybe you should explore why you jumped on this research that makes u think raising a bilingual baby is soo wrong...if you are so afraid of your daughter knowing something you dont (im assuming) and it makes u uncomfortable 4 others 2b able to talk 2 your daughter & u have no idea what they are saying then maybe YOU need 2 learn italian too!!!

[deleted account]

OK! I agree that ur in-laws should definitely respect ur wishes and only speak english to ur daughter BUT and that's a big butt! LOL! In my opinion I think that no harm is being done, especially if they don't see her daily! We, as a society, use a lot of slang and I often hear people who aren't Italian use words like ' Bella ' and ' bambino '.......I don't think you need to be Italian to know what that means?

My mom is Italian and my dad is Polish and both of them on occasion speak to my daughter in their native languages......I feel badly that ur daughter gets upset by her grandparents but maybe it's not the language that's scaring her......maybe it's just their loud, sometimes abrasive manner that scares her? LOL! I mean absolutely no disrespect by that.......I know when I took my daughter to visit my mom's family they of course all spoke italian to her; my daughter ran screaming from one of my great uncles because of his abrasive manner! He meant no harm by it and maybe ur in-laws aren't that type of italians but just something to think about!??

I haven't done the research that you have so I don't claim to speak from anything but experience......I wish both my parents would speak to my daughter more often in their native languages! I do know that the earlier you teach ur child the better......if she can be exposed to it now, even though it may be a little confusing it's much much more difficult to teach her when she's older! If you one day want her to learn a second language you may want to consider allowing her to be exposed at this early age??

Good luck!

P.S. I just wanted to reiterate that ur in-laws, whether they agree with you or not, SHOULD respect ur wishes!

Lindsay - posted on 03/08/2010

3,532

26

267

Ultimately, I believe that your daughter has a great opportunity to be able to be exposed to two languages from birth on. But it is ultimately your and your partners decision on whether or not to expose her to that or not. Being that both of my parents only spoke English, that's all I learned until I got to middle school and started taking Spanish classes. It was difficult for me to pick up on and despite 4 years full of Spanish courses, I'm far from being able to speak it or understand it well. I know just enough to somewhat break the barrier but it's difficult to carry on the conversation.



My uncle was born in Italy and his family relocated to the US when he was about 6 years old. His father went out and worked so he picked up on the English language and my uncle and his brothers obviously attended English speaking schools and picked it up well. His mother, though, stayed at home and took care of the house and never learned English. When my uncle met and married my aunt (my mom's sister), she only knew English. They adopted their son, Jonathan, and he was exposed to both languages from infantcy. He's a couple of years older than me and has been very successful in life. They spoke English in the home but obviously when he saw his grandparents there was no choice but to hear Italian. He wasn't exposed to it on a daily basis but often enough to where he was able to pick up on it as a second language. He's not an expert in speaking Italian but he can understand it and speak it limitedly. It wasn't confusing to him because he knew no different. And looking back, I think he really appreciates what he "had" over most of the rest of his relatives.



I guess my point is that I don't see any way that this could be harmful to your child. But it's up to you to take what I consider a unique opportunity and let your child be exposed to it or not. Unfortunately, my children don't have this option but it's a great one if it's available!

Lady - posted on 03/08/2010

2,136

73

221

I deffinatley agree that teaching children more than one lanuage is nothing but benifitial - I only wish I was fluent in an other language so I could have taught my children. Working in a number of nurseries I have seen children with different nationality parents for example one was british and one was french - the father only spoke english to the child and the mother only spoke french - when I taught the child he was four years old and fluent in both languages - when he'd been younger he had been slightly confused and would mix the two up but by the age of four he was able to know who he could speak english or french to and was a very clever little boy. And two of my childrens friends have itallian families and are both now bilingual and are both clever and well adjusted - childrens minds are so open to learning especially language so i say embrase the chance for her to learn.

Sara - posted on 03/08/2010

9,313

50

586

All the evidence I have read is the complete opposite of what you are saying about bilingual children. I have a friend who was taught Dutch/English at home and she is one of the smartest people I have ever met in my life. I think that we need to give children more credit, because before the age of 8 their brains are just big sponges and they can absorb A LOT. I doubt the validity of the research you read that says it would present problems in language comprehension.

Dana - posted on 03/08/2010

11,264

35

495

I tend to disagree with you. Everything I've seen shows the exact opposite. I actually worked for a family who was half Italian(him), half American(her), their kids had no issues with language and were actually quite smart. My sister is deaf and all her children know sign language, which is considered a second language. They have all excelled beyond a HUGE majority of their classmates.

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