My daughter has a classmate whose parents are both French (ML) but who raise their daughters bilingual French-German. The older girl (now 8) sounds like a German child to me when she speaks German. When I first heard about it I thought that was pretty crazy, but they are very committed, and clearly, it's working.
It's important to encourage parents to do this if they feel up to it.
As I mentioned on the post, it was natural to me, but then when people started to question it I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Now 5 years later I have no regrets and my 8-month-old baby is on the same path.
Consistency is key. In the beginning I realized how poor my baby vocabulary was. I had no idea how to say diaper, pacifier...but I learned on the go.
That's my story too! Me and my wife are Polish native speakers. My daughter Lucy communicates with me only in English. However, we started when she was 18 months old. It was I think the last moment for such a change. She didn't speak Polish at that time, that's why I think she wasn't reluctant to her daddy's crazy idea...
At the very beginning she was looking at me like a dog...which sometimes turns its head with no understanding but I saw in her face that her brain was analyzing every new word coming into her little ears.
It is tough anyway... Who knows where we will be in 3 years.
P.S. The advantage of her now being 3 and a half is, for sure, her ability to speak English with me. At the beginning it was a monologue but now I am more confident in the presence of others to speak English with her. That's cool.
It can be natural at the beginning but then people's comments can start making it feel odd. To me, the hardest is other people's comments about my nationality not being that of ml2 or that I am confusing my daughter. Even a doctor told me to quit speaking ml2 as it might be the cause of my daughter's pronunciation (which in fact--after a speech therapist's assessment--turns out to be fine).
But the best reward is when our kids start to talk in ml. And even better than that was the day when I had a friend quietly laughing at our trilingual efforts, and saw his jaw drop in disbelief as my daughter turned up chatting away perfectly in ml2. Karma can be so sweet when it comes round.
Mario, thank you for sharing the link to your article. Your experience and advice are very encouraging, and I'm sure there are many parents out there who will be heartened by your story. I enjoyed reading it!
And thanks, too, for the "bonus" of seeing your cute bilingual kids!
Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
I am trying to raise my children bilingual in French while learning the language. At first I was worried about accents as well. But I quickly learned my daughter was able to distinguish between a native French accent and my accent lol. She understood at age four, which was the correct way to pronounce (not mama's way) and would follow what she heard from French nanny, cartoons, music etc. I just practiced and taught her basics and vocabulary.
Now she is in French school, taught one week in French and one week in English, which makes it much easier! Anyone who hears her speak French says she sounds like a native French speaker and are amazed. That is always their first comment after she speaks French. We are still early in this language learning adventure. I am very lucky to have the school to help us progress. Well done for keep up with the English. Your children will thank you. I always wished my parents did the same for me!
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Wojtek: Is that Andrew Jackson?
Sept 8, 2019 7:07:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, see you both in Poland very soon!
Sept 9, 2019 15:26:31 GMT 9
Mayken: We finally sold my (9 years old) daughter's pram! The buyers are of Danish (Dad) and Russian/Armenian (Mom) origin. The mom wants to raise her kid (boy, not yet born) bilingual Russian, I encouraged her to do . He'll also get Danish from family in DK.
Sept 30, 2019 1:32:22 GMT 9
Sara: Loving speaking Italian and Spanish with my two whilst living in Australia. Thank you Adam! and other parents for all the Inspo! I am currently writing a report for my masters and it's all about EAL/D learners so I am using great content covered here.
Sept 30, 2019 19:34:40 GMT 9
Amy: Buena suerte (good luck) with your masters Sara! Glad we can inspire you
Oct 12, 2019 21:44:18 GMT 9
Amy: Adam Beck hearing about typhoon in Japan. Hope you and your family are safe.
Oct 14, 2019 4:12:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Amy, western Japan, where we live, was spared, but the typhoon hit central and eastern Japan very hard. Thank you for thinking of us. I'm thinking of you and your family, along with everyone I met during my trip! (And I can picture you now, too!)
Oct 14, 2019 11:09:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Sara, cheers from Japan to Australia! I wish you all the best with your efforts at home and for your report!
Oct 14, 2019 11:11:22 GMT 9
Mayken: Last night, I couldn't think of the ml word for puffin, and my daughter beat me to it, in a cute way: It's Papageitaucher (literally parrot diver) but she said Tauchpapagei (diving parrot).
Oct 14, 2019 23:11:32 GMT 9
Amy: It's a relief to hear you're all safe Adam Beck! Mayken, I loved that cute story and I love how your ml structures its words, it is always so much fun and interesting.
Oct 15, 2019 4:00:34 GMT 9
Nellie: So glad to hear you and your family are safe Adam.
Oct 16, 2019 4:35:04 GMT 9