Hallo! We just had our first child a couple of weeks ago and are hoping to raise her bilingual in English/German. We live in Texas - I am from here and am a native English speaker with little to no German while my husband is a native German speaker. He moved here 5 years ago; we communicate exclusively in English and have no German friends locally. With German being the minority language and with me having little to no proficiency I know this will be a big challenge!! We are motivated because his family doesn’t speak English and we want them to be able to communicate with our daughter via FaceTime and when we go over to visit. So far we are listening to German kid songs on YouTube and playing German TV in the background while I feed her. While I am out on maternity leave I will be able to expose her to lots of German throughout the day - but I know it will get harder when I go back to work and she goes to daycare in late October. I’ve ordered Adam’s book and some German kids books from Amazon. As for TV we have downloaded the Tageschau (German news) and YOUTV German TV recording app on Roku. I am really thankful to have found this forum and am excited about having a community as we embark on this challenging journey!!
Cile, welcome! And warm congratulations to you and your husband on the birth of your first child! Savor this first year (as tiring as it can be)--it passes so fast.
I applaud your proactive start on your bilingual journey with your daughter. And I encourage you to make steady efforts to develop your own German, too, which will no doubt raise the odds of success for your bilingual goal. Without your very active involvement, to fortify your husband's input, the balance of exposure will likely tip too heavily to the English side. Ultimately, your efforts will not only help your daughter to become bilingual, they'll enable you to become proficient in German, too!
And that can be your larger aim: to one day be a fully bilingual family!
I hope this community, and my book, can be sources of support to you. Your circumstances may be challenging, but you can certainly experience a lot of rewarding success over the years ahead as long as you and your husband maintain daily persistence and long-term perseverance.
I'm cheering for you guys and I look forward to following your bilingual journey!
**NEW! Bearded Dragon Daydreams Coloring Book, created by me and my son, is now available at booksellers worldwide!** Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
Welcome Cime, and congrats on the birth of your daughter!
Our minority language is German too, and though my girl is 10 years old, I still remember pretty well what resources we used when she was younger, so I might be able to help (especially with books at any age and kids TV shows when your daughter is old enough).
Just give me a shout if you need recommendations. 🙂
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your baby girl! I also live in Texas, but our minority language is French (dad is American, I am French). I am glad you have ordered Adam's book so early in your bilingual journey. I only discovered his book when my oldest was 5 and it was a game changer for me.
I also wanted to let you know how amazing it is that you are so much involved in the bilingualism of your daughter, as the ML parent. I agree with Adam, this could be the start of your bilingualism too: my husband did not speak French when we met, but he can now participate to a conversation and does not feel left out when I speak with the kids. If you are also ready to learn, it will help tremendously. My own experience has been that things greatly improved for us when I started using French to talk to my husband, instead of speaking only French to the kids. You are not there yet but you have plenty of time!
With German being the minority language and with me having little to no proficiency I know this will be a big challenge!!
In fact, if you are interested in learning German to take a verbally active part in your child's bilingual journey, I would say you should view it as an incredible opportunity:
1. You are going to learn along with your child 2. You are not going to learn the dry boring academic way, you are going to learn pretty much like every child does with their language: from their first day with basic vocabulary and sentences. Understanding before speaking. 3. Your level is going to slowly increase along the years
I am part of a Facebook Group for native Spanish-speaking parents raising in English as non-natives and with dedication and hard work some of them are getting amazing results!
And bear in mind that even if your German is low and imperfect, it still puts emphasis on the ml. And in the long run, this is vital (at least that is my personal experience). The more your child hears the ml from you parents, the more he'll think it necessary to use it.
If it can be of any help, I share with you this blog by a German mum living in NY raising bilingual English-German too. She has a page of German resources that might be of interest to you.
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