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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]? 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.
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.
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Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9
Amy: Was stunned to hear eldest had an anglophone (ml) accent when she began to read in the ML this afternoon!! Didn't last more than a paragraph until her brain switched language, but chuffed mum here!!
Mar 7, 2020 23:05:49 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter found the secret stash of ml books I'd bought at the closure sale of the ml book store two months ago and hidden away for later. Guess it's a good time for new books now, right?
Mar 18, 2020 5:29:38 GMT 9
Caro C.: My baby (16mo) perfectly knows what "hi5" means and readily shows her hand even when we are not showing our hand first. It feels like the first minor blossom of the bilingual seed.
Jun 1, 2020 13:05:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Caro! Give her a high-five from me! And I look forward to hearing about many more happy developments to come!
Jun 8, 2020 15:12:21 GMT 9