Yesterday I went to the park with Clara. She is one year old and she doesn't speak yet. I always talk to her in my non-native English and now whenever we meet someone I always tell her "say hi, Clara", people answer her back "hi", and yesterday in the park some kids even started to talk to her in their half English/Spanish language. But my concern is if maybe I should tell her to say "hola" because she is addressing Spanish/Catalan speakers. When she grows up and interacts more, I will tell her things like "tell this boy how old you are" or "tell grandpa what we did yesterday". She may answer back in English and maybe this will be confusing for her.
Country (residing now): France Country (originally from): France Children, Ages: 4 and 1 year old girls Majority Language: French Minority Language(s): Spanish (ml1 - "dominant") and English (ml2 -"recessive")
I had the same fear and came across the problem concern. When my daughter was smaller and I was confronted with that situation, I tended to speak to my daughter in ML so as to unconsciously "guide" her in her answer (when they are so young, it is said that small children don't really distinguish the languages).
Now that my daughter is 4 years old, I don't worry about it anymore, as she is now more conscious of the languages she needs to use. Not so long ago, when dropping her off in class, I told her in ml2 to say "Hello" to her nursery school teacher and she spontaneously said it in ml2 instead of ML. But when her teacher giggled and I reminded her her teacher spoke in ML, my daughter realised she had let it slip in ml2, smiled and repeated it in ML. Being that age, I think that she now understands pretty well the language use. With hindsight, I'm not sure she understood that very well when she was smaller...
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
I'm not sure whether this is the best approach, but I adapt what I say to the person my daughter will be saying it to. For instance, if we are in the street, I will say "say hola!", whereas if we are with someone who speaks English I will say "say hello". The most interesting is when I say: "what do we say?" to prompt her to say "thank you": sometimes she will say it in English, and sometimes in Spanish - it depends on what she has heard most recently, I suppose (funnily enough, that is one word that she rarely says in French, which is no doubt due to her father not insisting on it as much as me!). If she says "thank you" to someone who probably doesn't speak English (say, a taxi driver), I then repeat "that's right, gracias" so that she starts to understand (hopefully) that in different circumstances she should use different languages.
The main thing from my perspective is that I always say "please say" in English. So the "hola" or "gracias" is inserted there in the middle of an English sentence, if that makes sense, and the bulk of the sentence remains English (I realise that mixing languages is generally not recommended, but in this context I feel comfortable with it).
Thanks for your answers. The idea of talking ML to her is not very appealing to me because I have already got used to speaking my non-native English to her and I fear I will start mixing languages. I maybe will tell Clara to say, "Say hola or Say hi", depending on the person she is speaking too. As you both say, when she gets older she will distinguish the languages better. So far when we find kids in the park I keep on speaking to her in English and somehow I repeat what I have told her to the other kids in Catalan and I paraphrase to Clara in English what the kid said. Not sure if it is a good option but somehow I think Clara can get both inputs in Catalan/Spanish and in English and it may be easier for her to get the message because she listens to it twice (she may also get tired of her mother talking like a parrot!).
Wojtek: Mayken: Thanks! That kindergarten is far better then the last one. And we all love it. English has time frames everyday. It is not like they communicate with children in English throughout the day but it's the best place in our region.
May 11, 2017 17:52:03 GMT 9
Wojtek: 1st week's gone. Tonight when we sat in the dim light just before getting to bed she sang the song for me she learnt in her new place. It was like: "I love my daddy. Here's a kiss and a hug for you. Thank you daddy for all you do". I wept...
May 13, 2017 4:51:38 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Ahmet, I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Your positive reaction (including your fun photo) means a lot to me! Many thanks!
May 13, 2017 22:19:28 GMT 9
Amy: Wojtek, enjoy those magical moments. You are a very lucky Daddy.
May 14, 2017 1:09:34 GMT 9
Wojtek: Amy: Thanks! I am a very lucky daddy!
May 15, 2017 22:50:12 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter brought her ml workbook home recently, and that inspired me to create my own worksheets for her. I posted them on my blog: http://www.cow-pla.net/wordpress/tag/work-sheets (Don't be too harsh on my drawing skills, please. )
May 19, 2017 5:21:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great, Mayken! And I bet your daughter enjoyed your cute, creative efforts!
May 19, 2017 6:14:32 GMT 9
Nellie: My daughter has started asking (in ML/Spanish) for me to sing her songs in ml2 (English)! Several times today and yesterday she asked for "la canción en inglés", while just a month ago she would scream if I did so! This seems like progress!
May 20, 2017 10:00:13 GMT 9
Adam Beck: New video at Bilingual Monkeys TV: How to Get Your Bilingual Child to Speak Your Language (Watch at my YouTube channel, and please subscribe for more videos!) https://youtu.be/YrBUH4UJEGU
May 20, 2017 15:54:56 GMT 9
Amy: That is amazing news Nellie!! Go for it!
May 20, 2017 21:24:10 GMT 9
Mayken: That's great news, Nellie!
May 23, 2017 4:43:34 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nellie, yes, this is an excellent example of progress! Good for you both!
May 23, 2017 5:58:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW VIDEO with my cousin Andy! I hope you like it! (And please "like" it, if you do!) Funny Tongue Twisters for Kids (and English Learners of All Ages)https://youtu.be/lsGkJcJj7a8
May 24, 2017 11:53:48 GMT 9