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.
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Wojtek: Adam, will you be watching in a few hours the football match between our national teams?
Jun 28, 2018 20:27:10 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy birthday to two bilingual monkeys: Adam Beck's daughter Lulu (14) and mine (8).🎂
Jun 29, 2018 23:10:16 GMT 9
Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
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Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
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Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9