When we read to our 11 month old boy, we usually do it separately. For instance, in the morning Mommy (minority language) reads to him, and at night Daddy (majority language) reads to him or either way. Although, we cannot get his full attention for the whole story, we do not give up and keep reading to him until the end.
What happened yesterday was interesting. His dad was feeding him and I decided to read him one of the bilinguals stories (I was only reading the minority language part). Suddenly, my husband got closer to me and started reading the part of the majority language. So, we kept doing it that way until the end of the story; one part his dad, and one part me. I was so impressed to see how fascinated and focused my boy was while listening to the whole story. Now, I am wondering: is it a good idea to do it that way (reading the story in both languages)? Or are we getting him confused?
Dani, I don't see this as a concern. As long as you and your husband are being consistent about your use of the two languages, reading with your son in this way is fine. (After all, it's similar to the times you're speaking together as a family, right? You're using the minority language with your son and your husband is using the majority language?)
In any event, I expect such "bilingual reading" will only constitute a small part of your interactions with him. What's most important, for long-term success, is the overall amount of meaningful exposure he receives in the minority language from day to day.
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).
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