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.
Amy: And to all other fellow zookeepers of course!
Nov 4, 2018 18:13:28 GMT 9
Wojtek: Yesterday my daughter used a Polish word in an English sentence. From time to time she does it (don't know if I should be happy about that), but anyway what was amusing about that, she said it with an English accent!
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:45 GMT 9
Wojtek: I feel the English accent in our monolingual family has seemed to be something unreachable but in that mixed sentence, I heard the difference. It surprised me slightly.
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:55 GMT 9
Amy: So cute Wojtek! And such a lovely piece of news!
Nov 7, 2018 6:29:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice Wojtek! Give that little girl a big hug from Uncle Adam!
Nov 7, 2018 10:16:33 GMT 9
Amy: Beautiful pictures Adam! The serenity of the place transpired in every pic. Thank you for sharing them
Nov 11, 2018 21:58:40 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, Amy, she got a lot of ml exposure but there's only so many times I can watch a Bibi & Tina DVD. Glad she's back at school today.
Nov 13, 2018 0:16:03 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's school had the annual lantern pageant yesterday. It always moves me to tears when I see the kids stand and belt out the songs in our ml. This year, the ml kids also recited a short poem on St Martin.
Nov 25, 2018 3:34:49 GMT 9