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 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.
Mayken: My 7-year-old, her ML dad and a ml family are going to the Christmas market at a ml school today - and I can't go with them! (Hope that ML dad's presence doesn't stop the kids from speaking ml together.)
Dec 2, 2017 22:12:04 GMT 9
Amy: I'm sure the language balance is heavily in favour of the ml. Don't you worry Mayken. And it's also good that your daughter sees that the ml exists beyond the Mummy sphere. It will give more weight to the ml to hear from another sphere.
Dec 2, 2017 22:51:42 GMT 9
Mayken: In the end, it was my daughter with ML dad and the other girl with ML mom (but who's fluent in ml). The other girl got tired of ml after a while but my girl chatted with people in ml and bought ml books and a snack, all in ml!
Dec 5, 2017 0:29:57 GMT 9
Amy: Not so bad after all then, Mayken
Dec 5, 2017 6:27:24 GMT 9
Mayken: Not bad at all, I just regret I wasn't there with them.
Dec 6, 2017 6:11:36 GMT 9
Amy: As the French have it Mayken: "ce n'est que partie remise!"
Dec 6, 2017 18:47:06 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter wrote her letter to Santa in the ml this weekend, and we'll send it to Santa's address in the ml country, that way she'll get an ml letter back from him! Last item on her wishlist reads "The second Harry Potter book, and more books."
Dec 11, 2017 23:59:38 GMT 9
Adam Beck: More books is always good!
Dec 12, 2017 8:15:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: For Christmas: The Most Beautiful Video You Might Ever See About a Bilingual Familybuff.ly/2nI2yrE
Dec 12, 2017 8:16:04 GMT 9