My son is now 14 months old and definitely showing bilingual language comprehension. My husband and I knew he understood some things, but it can be hard to tell during these early months. But we just came back from a 2 week visit with the relatives in the ml, and my son took to it like, well, being home! He doesn't speak words yet (just banana, "nanana"), but he was very verbal, understood commands, picked up the meaning of new words, probably even some new cultural differences. It definitely gave us a strong message that we are doing a good job. Now, when I say my baby is bilingual, I can brush off those "yeah, right" looks!
My husband spends about 2 days per week alone with him while I have to go out working, plus other interaction all week. (This is an improvement from the very early months, when I was doing most of the caretaking and speaking in ML.) He tries to read to him in Spanish every day and is very playful and funny with him. I figure, my son is going to adore him so much, it will color his desire to keep Spanish in his life.
Our son is very isolated from social interactions, however, other than us. So, the influence of the ML is limited. I speak to him in ML when we are alone, but ml when the three of us are together. My efforts to find other parents and kids in the ml have not panned out yet. That is my big goal. That may never happen and the contingency plan will just be to increase other forms of home exposure. I am also considering home schooling for a while.
Native English Mom, fluent in Spanish; Native Spanish Dad
Ilyssa, it sounds like you and your family are enjoying some early success! Keep up these good efforts, day by day, and your son will no doubt continue to make very satisfying progress. And I don't think you need to be concerned if Spanish gets a head start over English. In fact, a head start in the minority language can be a distinct advantage for the long run because it enables that language to develop a firm foundation before the majority language becomes more dominant through school and the community.
I look forward to seeing your updates here, and reading more good news about your budding bilingual boy!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular 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. Please support The Bilingual Zoo through Adam's Patreon page www.patreon.com/bilingualmonkeys.
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