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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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
Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9
Amy: Looks like the 3 weeks in ml1 country paid off: my ML mother reports my youngest would only speak ml1 to her! Lol Not sure ML childminder will be so happy when she returns... loool!
Aug 25, 2018 0:38:50 GMT 9
Mayken: Sounds like fun times ahead, Amy! Keep us posted.
Aug 27, 2018 23:15:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Something Strange Happened 2 Days After We Moved into Our New House (And Its Significance to Change and Transformation on the Bilingual Journey)buff.ly/2ww8WDD
Aug 31, 2018 10:30:39 GMT 9
Amy: Happiest bilingual mum in the world : the new lady who conducts activities in ml2 with my eldest just assessed her level as pretty much equivalent to that of a native ml2 child! After that awful back-to-school start, this is like music to my ears.
Sept 6, 2018 0:00:13 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've been thinking for a long time to write an update and hopefully, I will do it one day. My brother married a Russian woman. That was nice to see that my 5-year-old daughter could play with her and speak English together!
Sept 7, 2018 21:37:25 GMT 9
Wojtek: After some time, she ran up and told me: "She is speaking English!"
Sept 7, 2018 21:38:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice to hear your happy news, Wojtek! And congratulations to your brother and his bride! It sounds like they may have a bilingual child in their future, too! Cheers to you all!
Sept 7, 2018 21:58:17 GMT 9