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.
Amy: And to all other fellow zookeepers of course!
Nov 4, 2018 18:13:28 GMT 9
Wojtek: Yesterday my daughter used a Polish word in an English sentence. From time to time she does it (don't know if I should be happy about that), but anyway what was amusing about that, she said it with an English accent!
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:45 GMT 9
Wojtek: I feel the English accent in our monolingual family has seemed to be something unreachable but in that mixed sentence, I heard the difference. It surprised me slightly.
Nov 5, 2018 18:23:55 GMT 9
Amy: So cute Wojtek! And such a lovely piece of news!
Nov 7, 2018 6:29:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice Wojtek! Give that little girl a big hug from Uncle Adam!
Nov 7, 2018 10:16:33 GMT 9