We are from Vietnam and speak Vietnamese as mother tongue. Since I adopted OPOL method, I've talked to my son in English almost the time. However, there is some issue when all of our family members as well as local people communicate in Vietnamese. So, I opted to talk to my toddler in first language sometimes, especially when we face other people. Also, my kid sometimes communicate to me in this native language, and I also acknowledged that by "translating" into minority language.
Below are some of my concerns:
Is it fine to talk to my son in local language in such situations?
Is it considered impolite when I communicate to my son in English, which is neither the local language here nor my native language?
Myself I am Spanish and live in Germany, so the ml for my children is Spanish and the ML German. I talk to them all the time in Spanish, even when there are people that do not understand it. If I would switch to German every time there was someone who did not understand Spanish then I would mostly only talk to them in Spanish at home (and even then only when no German friends were over) and I think that would not be enough for the Spanish proficiency I wish for my kids. So I talk to them in Spanish all the time, no matter what. I make a point of explaining it to people that don't know me, whenever I introduce myself for example at a parents reunion in school I explain that I always talk to my kids in Spanish. I would not see a difference where it is your native language or not, I would explain with a smile to people that you want your son to grow up bilingual and therefore you talk to him in English.
When my children started talking and they would use the German word with me, I would always say "Yes, daddy says 'wasser' but mommy says 'agua', can you say 'agua'?"
I think especially in the early years you have to be very careful how much ML you use with them, since it will make it more likely that they talk to you in the ML.
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