Greetings from a Canadian dad in rural Japan Jul 25, 2018 17:18:52 GMT 9
Post by Ray L. on Jul 25, 2018 17:18:52 GMT 9
Hello everyone! I'm glad to have found such a space to share stories and ideas with other families. I'm looking forward to reading about experiences and sharing a few of my own.
I am a Canadian who has been living in a rather rural (though not as rural as it can be) area of Japan for the past eight years or so. I'm a father to a 2.5-year-old who's as active and curious a little boy as you could hope to meet. My wife is Japanese and her first language is Japanese, but she can both speak and understand English conversationally.
We both knew that we wanted both languages to be a part of who he is, so we resolved even before he was born that we would do our best to encourage his development in both Japanese and English.
Since day one, I've spoken to him in 99.9...% English. My wife spoke perhaps 2/3 English when he was a baby, but naturally changed to about 1/2 English as his Japanese speaking has improved. In front of him, I speak 99% English to my wife and she speaks well over 80% English to me.
When he was saying single words as a baby, he naturally spoke more English. One day around 1.5 years old, his Japanese exploded into sentences and stories while his English still remained at about the word-by-word level. Now, he instinctively speaks between 80 and 90% Japanese with the remainder in English (this depends on his mood for the day). He's also making simple sentences and questions now in English.
This post in the Bilingual Zoo forum from April more or less sums up where he's at now: link (http://bilingualzoo.com/thread/977/son-talks-me-ml). He's quite good at parroting me (he says Japanese, I say it in English, he repeats the English), but I'm looking to improve his intrinsic motivation so that he instinctively uses English when he wants to speak to an English speaker (me, my wife [he knows she speaks it], family, friends, etc.).
We're already mid-journey, but looking forward to seeing where the bilingual adventure takes us all!