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 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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Angela: So sorry for your loss. She was a great woman. I hope you feel a bit better. Kisses from Spain.
Apr 22, 2018 23:34:43 GMT 9
Mayken: We visited a Loire Valley château yesterday. Our daughter got a kids' activity booklet and we parents got the regular tour booklet in French. She asked for one in German (our ml). When I later asked her why, she said "Because I'm a German-speaker!"
Apr 23, 2018 23:23:36 GMT 9
Nellie: Haha love it Mayken! The best thing is - she is right!
Apr 24, 2018 5:45:09 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9
Flir: Adam, uh oh. Time waits for no one. I'm very sorry to hear that. Stay strong man, your kids are looking up to you to give them as much as your parents gave you once. Best wishes.
May 24, 2018 20:11:03 GMT 9