I've read several threads about the progress of some of the members of the forum and it has been encouraging, as well as amazing! This is why I wanted to start my thread as well.
I'm the ml parent (Italian), living in Spain. Since my baby was born, my husband and I switched to ml@h to increase the exposure to ml (no Italian schools, friends and relatives speak Spanish...). My baby has spent the first 7 months of his life almost entirely with me, I hired a native babysitter who comes two afternoons a week while I work from home, I call my parents several times a week (so that he listens to the ml), I read to him in the ml on a daily basis... I'll spend the entire month of November in Italy with my parents, but...unfortunately he'll start daycare (in the ML, plus 30 minutes of English a day) in December. I hope I'll be able to keep the native babysitter twice a week.
My baby is 10 months old. Over the last few weeks his progress in the understanding and production of language have been outstanding. He understands simple instructions, repeats sounds (mainly onomatopoeia) and he has said his first word! He says "Aua", which may be "agua" (in Spanish) or "acqua" (in Italian), who knows?
So nice to see you are opening your own thread, Agnese! Hope it will help you keep track of all the great developments in your little one's life and remember them in your times of doubts (we all experience these!).
Reading on a daily basis is a brilliant start and what can I say about ml@h? I'm very partial to it!
Other suggestions (if you don't already do them): - Also try to add some ml music/radio/telly (it doesn't have to be children oriented and you don't have to actually be listening/watching) in the background. I find this unconsciously influences the use of the language used and kids always pick up on things (my girls certainly stun me regularly repeating things they heard). - Describe everything you do, whether playing, changing a nappy, giving him a bath, etc. - Pretend you have a conversation with him when he makes sounds. I read somewhere that it stimulates the child to "respond" with more sounds, and that process stimulates their language development. My little one certainly loved when I did this when she was younger (she's 2 now and speaks proper short sentences).
Hope these ideas can help and I look forward to reading your updates.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Thank you for the ideas, Amy. I'll try to put some radio in the background. When the TV is on he stops playing and stares at the screen, so I try not to overdo it.
My main concerns (perhaps it isn't the proper thread) are ML school and that I'm totally fluent in Spanish and I can't pretend not to understand, as we have family, friends and relatives, I can't isolate myself from the environment.
Anyway, I'm thrilled with his first word and I hope I'll report other progress soon!
Great news Agnese! Those first milestones are always very exciting. And 10 months is very young indeed for a first word!
Your case is a bit unique because of the similarities between your ML and ml. It wlil be interesting to see whether this makes things easier - or harder... In any case, it sounds as though you and your son are both doing wonderfully! Keep up the reading and talking. I think the main thing is not to get discouraged - I have found so far that language development seems to operate in 'waves', with each language developing at its own pace. So long as you are committed, it will work!
No matter who you are, or what your circumstances are like, if you make writing about your bilingual journey a priority in your life--a firm and regular routine--you will inevitably strengthen your awareness and your actions, and accordingly, your children’s bilingual development. It’s a simple step, but if carried through week after week, year after year, the impact is powerful, even profound.
I think it's clear to see, from many of the threads at this board, that parents who persist in writing about their experience on a regular basis are able to maximize their success over time because this helps them maintain mindful and steady efforts, day by day. So Agnese, I simply encourage you to do the same: commit to your thread and update us regularly. If you do, I expect you'll have a lot of good news to share over the months and years ahead.
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
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Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9