I'd be interested in receiving some feedback and thoughts on the following issue:
I am a native English speaker, I live in Italy, with my Italian partner and our 3 yr old child. My partner and I both speak our native language when we are speaking directly to our Little One (LO), the family language is a mixture of Italian and English (my partner's English is not so great), and the community language is Italian (at school, etc).
LO understands perfectly in both languages, but is undoubtedly far more comfortable speaking in Italian. All my questions in English (the minority language) always get an answer back in Italian. If I ask for a reply in English (whichI don't always do), I usually get one in the end and with a little help.
So my question is: how much should I insist on LO speaking only English with me? Not reacting to questions not in English seems a little drastic...
My language approach has always (up till now) seemed very natural, in the past I have always just replied back in English to the Italian I get from LO, I do not want to cause upset or resistance by insisting too much.
An additional problem is that LO knows all too well that I can understand both languages and so sees no real need to reply in English.
Any thoughts on this? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
One day I was putting the clothes to my 3 year old son and I asked him: Me - Do you want to wear the blue T-shirt? (in ml) My son- Yes. (in ML) Me - So you don't want it then, otherwise you would say 'si' if you want it, so do you want the green T-shirt instead? (All said in ml)
So I basically I pretended I didn't understand the ML yes, until he said it in ml. So we went through all his clothes until he said 'yes' in ml.
If you read Tatyana's article she did that with 'yes' and 'no'. As 'no' is the same in our ml and in ML, I only pretended I didn't understand the 'yes' in ML.
My son took it as a game, he was laughing and laughing to my surprise, I thought he would get frustrated, but he didn't.
Then when I asked other things during the day, to my surprise he was using 'yes' in the ml quite often, when he was saying it in ML I pretended I didn't understand, I sometimes would forget to pretend I didn't understand though, but he got the message.
I then did the same with the sentences he uses more, introducing one sentence every 3 days or so.
I told him when he wants something, he should say 'I want xxx' (in ml), so I did the same, I pretended I didn't understand unless he was saying it in ml. The other sentence I showed him was 'Where is xxx', and we then moved to Spain, where he is now immersed in ml and using it most of the time.
It is definitely worth trying it! As he was using the learned sentences very often, specially on the things he most likes, 'I want to ride my bike' in ml was the sentence he most used. Good luck!
Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9
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