Hello! So I've been searching forever on google and so happy to have found this site, hopefully I'll get some good ideas and help on here!
So basically I'm originally from England and married my Israeli husband just over three years ago and then moved over to Israel!
We have a one year old daughter who is still with me at home everyday (decided not to put her in nursery yet as I work evenings) so she is with her father or grandparents a couple of evenings a week when I'm at work.
I am the only person talking English with her and I'm worried that she's going to start getting confused between the languages, though I know children adapt and get used to two languages.
When we are at my husband's family's house, she might say a few words in English. For example, she says 'more' if asking for more food and they will say the Hebrew translation which I think makes her think it's wrong to say the word 'more'.
I understand they want her to also learn Hebrew but I personally think they should acknowledge what she's asked them and then maybe ask her the question in Hebrew again? But not to totally dismiss what she has asked just because it was in English? Am I in the wrong? i just don't know the best way for her to be learning two languages.
Kez, welcome! I understand your feelings, but I would encourage you to take a broader view of your daughter's bilingual development. As long as you're providing her with sufficient exposure in English (a good benchmark is roughly 25 hours a week of meaningful exposure), then I expect her development will proceed as you hope, without any lasting "confusion." (At the same time, to ensure that she feels a real need to use English with you, I would recommend that you consciously limit your use of Hebrew in front of her.)
It's important, for a parent's peace of mind, to keep one eye on the larger journey, while fixing the other eye on our efforts for each day. Without this sort of balanced perspective, it becomes too easy to be troubled by smaller matters that likely won't really be of much significance over the long run.
And, of course, feel free to continue reaching out to the rest of us here at The Bilingual Zoo. Our keeper uniforms may be kind of dirty, but we're a caring bunch.
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction 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.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Mayken: Veda, when you go to your "Profile", there's a button at the top right that says "Edit Profile". Then click on the "Personal" tab (and other tabs) to edit the information. Hope that helps!
Jan 10, 2019 0:14:02 GMT 9
Veda L: Many thanks to Mayken for the tip. Finally changed my profile. To those who are celebrating Chinese New Year, a healthy and prosperous year of the pig in advance!
Jan 30, 2019 6:44:01 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Here's a lively list of 20 bloggers raising bilingual/multilingual children! (Recognize anyone?) buff.ly/2QT0eHL
Jan 31, 2019 9:01:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Hey Adam Beck, how come your photo on that list is bigger than everyone else's?
Jan 31, 2019 23:59:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, I don't know, but I wish I could say it's because I'm taller! My son (almost 12) is now nearly as tall as I am. Just yesterday I told him that I have to start growing again!
Feb 1, 2019 10:12:14 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for sharing the impressions of your trip to China! I love those duck boats and that doorway! And meeting those kids wanting to speak English with you is so amazing!(I won't enter the giveaway because I'm afraid of winning the chicken claws!)
Feb 6, 2019 0:24:50 GMT 9
Mayken: My friend S asked her bilingual 2.5-year-old daughter: What language do mommy & daddy speak? D: English! S: What language does Grandma speak? D: French! S: What language do the cats speak? D (*thinks, then answers*): Meow!
Feb 7, 2019 0:08:00 GMT 9
Amy: Bless!! how cute is that!!! Reminds me of a similar thing that happened with my youngest when she was 18 months: she said the sound right for every animal but the cow. She kept answering "Lola" because of a famous Spanish nursery rhyme about a cow!
Feb 7, 2019 0:40:09 GMT 9
Alba: My son caught us by surprise when we said thank you (in English) to a waiter in a Mexican restaurant, and he said "gracias" (thank you) to him too in Spanish, also signing it! He was having a blast and there was some Spanish music in the background.
Feb 10, 2019 18:48:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Sounds like a wonderful moment, Alba!
Feb 11, 2019 11:57:53 GMT 9