Hi there everyone! I am an Italian mother of a little 7 month old girl whose father is Spanish, from Madrid. In our house we are trilingual. We sing, read and speak to our little one in our languages of origin (Italian and Spanish) though she hears English all the time from family and friends. It's still early days though we are taking it easy, day by day, and are ready for the challenges ahead.
Sara, welcome! I'm glad to hear your bilingual (trilingual) journey is off to a good start!
As I often stress, the more parents are able to emphasize the minority language(s) during these first few formative years, the better positioned they'll likely be to sustain the development and active use of the minority language side(s) when schooling in the majority language begins. In other words, do your best to provide ample exposure to Italian and Spanish--and use them consistently with her (rather than English)--so she will become "conditioned" to respond to you in these languages once she begins to speak.
If you haven't already come across it, this resource page of Posts for New Parents might also be some support for your efforts.
Sara, I send best wishes from Japan to Australia! (And, by the way, my children's Spanish teacher is originally from Madrid! She now lives in Hiroshima with her Japanese husband. She's coming to our house today, in fact!)
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction 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.
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Wojtek: I found sample Eiken tests on grade 5 and 4 (There was Adam's article) and did the first part with my daughter (20 questions). On Grade 5 she did 16 of 20 correctly and on grade 4: 12 of 20. Not so bad though. She failed those where grammar was included.
Feb 15, 2018 20:43:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, your daughter is still very young so I would say those are really positive results! Your efforts are clearly producing a lot of progress. Good for you, and good for your daughter!
Feb 16, 2018 7:52:23 GMT 9
Undraa: A big congrats from my end to you for your new book Adam!
Feb 16, 2018 16:50:56 GMT 9
Wojtek: Big thanks, Adam. Those tests on grade 5 are so basic but anyway they prove that my girl understands them and knows the answers. That was quite interesting experience.
Feb 16, 2018 16:54:32 GMT 9
Wojtek: Congratulations on your book, Adam! I read the beginning on Amazon and as always I have the impression you took several pages from the dictionary with a range of sophisticated words and just put them in. That's why the book will be very valuable for me.
Feb 16, 2018 17:01:19 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, thanks! Even if you're unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary, I think the lively story will carry you through the book. I hope you enjoy it, and also find it useful for your English!
Feb 16, 2018 18:43:12 GMT 9
Dani: Hi everyone, It has been a while... Congrats on your new book Adam! Would love to get a copy too.
Feb 17, 2018 8:30:36 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, your guest poster sounds just as crazy as you - and I mean that as a compliment!
Feb 21, 2018 5:13:52 GMT 9
Adam Beck: You're right, Mayken! And I told him that!
Feb 21, 2018 6:25:52 GMT 9
Amy: I totally agree with you Mayken!
Feb 22, 2018 1:50:25 GMT 9
Kristin T.: Just bought your bilingual book off amazon, can't wait to search for more tips and inspiration!
Feb 26, 2018 4:05:20 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've just ordered k12 pre-k program for the next whole year. Probably will be very demanding but hopefully, it will give me and my daughter lots of fun as there are lots of online activities too...
Feb 26, 2018 4:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Kristin, I hope you find it helpful and encouraging! I look forward to your impressions!
Feb 26, 2018 5:12:34 GMT 9
Mayken: Last night I dreamed I was on a package tour in a Russian-speaking country, talking to a hotel employee mixing up my (little remaining) Russian and my (basic) Italian. Woke up thinking "квартира in Russian doesn't mean the same as camera in Italian"!
Mar 2, 2018 6:16:20 GMT 9