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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Amy: Cute code switching this morning when my 3 year old told me "I get my pótamo" (she meant her hippo soft toy). This mixing was music to my ears... It means she is truly growing trilingual.
Apr 6, 2019 2:51:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Lovely, Amy! Good for you, and good for her! P.S. I like hippos.
Apr 7, 2019 10:32:37 GMT 9
Alba: So funny, Amy! Great to hear I love the word Hypo, every child says it different! My son did something similar when he say "This tocotó", he calls horses "tocotó" based on the noise they made when trotting (tocotó, iiii (neigh)-ok, for a Spanish ear)
Apr 8, 2019 6:52:09 GMT 9
Amy: Cheer Alba and Adam Beck! . I love these "baby" words. They are so cute. I like the "This tocotó" another example of state of the art Spanglish <3
Apr 9, 2019 4:54:05 GMT 9
Mayken: Got home from a short trip to Zürich - heard German, French & Italian on the train, and both German and French in the tram. And everyone speaks English too. It was nice to be able to choose which of my languages I wanted to speak!
May 6, 2019 23:07:42 GMT 9
Amy: Such a lovely feeling, isn't it? I miss that!
May 7, 2019 16:33:19 GMT 9
Mayken: It is, Amy . I didn't realise how much I had missed it.
May 7, 2019 23:10:43 GMT 9
Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9