We're a bilingual family raising a 22 month old in NYC. I was born in Cuba but immigrated to the states as a young child. I was raised in Miami and my parents never were able to grasp English so our house, and much of our community as a whole, was Spanish-only. Consequently, I have excellent command of my native language although English has become my dominant language. My husband's father is also an immigrant and native Spanish speaker but his mother is deaf, so they only spoke English at home because that's what she can lip read. He consequently understands some Spanish but doesn't speak it much or very well.
For the past 12 or so years I have lived in mainly English-speaking communities and only have needed to resort to Spanish when speaking to my parents or, occasionally, for work. I stay home with our daughter and have taken great pains to speak to her only in Spanish but it is hard for me because it just doesn't come as naturally as it did when I was younger. I have only been able to find one or two other mothers in the area that are Spanish speaking and they both immigrated to the states when they were much older so they don't struggle as much as I do. All of which is to say, I have joined The Bilingual Zoo with the hope of accessing some much needed support and motivation as we continue our bilingual journey.
Post by Dave Hartley on Mar 28, 2017 21:18:35 GMT 9
Welcome to the Bilingual Zoo! It's great that you joined, and your background as you described is interesting. I think I face similar challenges to you, because I have a language that became rusty, and now that I want to pass it to my kids it doesn't come naturally.
You'll find some really great ideas, suggestions and well needed encouragement here! And I'm sure you'll make great progress in time.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Dave! I think you described it perfectly - it's less so that I struggle to speak it and more so that it doesn't come naturally so it feels labor intensive to stick to it all day long. I appreciate the encouragement and have already learned so much from reading through some threads.
Claudia, welcome! I responded to your situation in a longer reply at this thread, so please take a look. I hope the thoughts I've offered there can be helpful to you!
Cheers from Hiroshima to New York! (Actually, I went to college just outside New York--Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville--but I haven't been back to the area in many years. I miss it! Especially the bagels! )
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.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
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
Adam Beck: Many thanks, Marisa! In my humble opinion, more bilingual kids = more empathy in the world = a more peaceful planet.
Oct 18, 2017 7:33:04 GMT 9