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 book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
Nellie: My daughter came home from school with her first "naughty word" in French (caca boudin)! I guess this means she is now officially integrated!
Sept 22, 2017 5:54:43 GMT 9
Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9