Looking to establish a base of support, now that I've decided to be a keeper of bilingual children!
ML: English, my first language and my wife's only language, we're living in the U.S. ml: Spanish, I speak at an advanced level, we have very little community exposure (right now) Kids: 2.5 yr-old & newborn.
I'll be starting the OPOL approach with the newborn, but I'm quite daunted by the task of introducing Spanish to our 2.5 yr-old when I'm not the primary caregiver at home. I think we'll try the Time&Place method first, and if he does not resist the ml too hard I might move to OPOL someday.
But, what if I start OPOL with our 2.5 yr-old right now, cold-turkey? I think he would learn way faster than with the Time&Place method...but, how long would he be confused? Would it cause our relationship to become strained? Nearly all that I've read online is directed to parents who start from birth, not at 2.5 yrs. I would love some insight into the natural course of OPOL if introduced at this age.
Landon, welcome! And congratulations to you and your wife on the recent arrival of your second child!
As for speaking Spanish with your children, I wish you all the best in your efforts. With your older son, you may need to provide him with a certain amount of English support, to ease this transition, but gradually weaning him from English to Spanish is certainly possible. How rapidly you can achieve this aim depends a lot on his own openness to this shift in your relationship, but I would advise proceeding slowly, at first, and monitoring his reactions. Better to move this aim forward more gently and gradually than try to do "too much, too soon" and risk strong resistance. Your son is still small so there's no rush, really.
One of the keys, of course, will be to keep things playful. If your son can come to associate Spanish with fun and joy, nurturing a new relationship with him in this language will surely be a more positive and productive experience for you both.
At the same time, I encourage you to seek out other speakers of Spanish, too, to fortify your own efforts. Perhaps this post can suggest some possibilities...
Landon, I look forward to following your family's bilingual journey!
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.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
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
Mayken: It's our last night in Canada. We've said goodbye to our English-speaking and bilingual English/French friends but we have lots of memories and souvenirs. Let's see how I can keep up the momentum back home.
Aug 21, 2019 9:06:07 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Sounds like a wonderful trip, Mayken! Safe travels home!
Aug 22, 2019 10:33:45 GMT 9