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 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. Please support The Bilingual Zoo through Adam's Patreon page www.patreon.com/bilingualmonkeys.
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Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9
Raquel: That's cute, Mayken. I hope you enjoyed all that extra free time.
May 29, 2019 18:17:39 GMT 9
SheilaC: I am concern about our upcoming big change to Public school with all English teaching and minimal Spanish. We have been lucky until now with Spanish speaking Nanny and Spanish immersion preschool. We are doing 2-day per week with Spanish after school.
May 31, 2019 10:51:49 GMT 9
Amy: @sheilac, I suggest you create an actual thread on the "Questions & Concerns" board, so fellow Zoo Keepers can help you with your concerns. 256 characters is too little to discuss something that is so important to your heart
Jun 2, 2019 23:44:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for that very interesting and timely post - it justifies the large order for ml books and DVDs I'm about to place in view of my daughters upcoming birthday!
Jun 3, 2019 23:46:00 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great to hear this, Mayken! And happy birthday to both yours and mine! (They have the same birthday, don't they?) And if anyone missed that post, here's the link once more...
Jun 4, 2019 8:03:42 GMT 9