Here is our bilingual baby (possibly trilingual!) He's already 3 months old and we had our first visit from the in-laws at the weekend. We are mostly speaking to him in Norwegian (ml1) but his dad also sometimes speaks to him in Sami (ml2) and I use some English (ML) when I don't know the words in Norwegian. I'm pleased at how much I've been able to speak to him in Norwegian and how natural it feels. I'm trying to use songs and books already and that's been a good way to boost my language. I think it will be hard as everyone else we meet only speaks English and so he is going to hear me speaking English the majority of the time. I could be listening to more Norwegian radio but it's far too tempting to watch TV and listen to the radio in English as my language skills aren't quite good enough to understand everything in Norwegian. It was great having the in-laws here and, although they mostly speak Sami, I did pick up some Norwegian baby phrases too. I was really pleased that they also brought us three lovely Sami children's books as it is hard to get hold of them. My husband and I are continuing to try and switch from speaking English to each other to using Norwegian all the time but that is tough as it slows down the conversation so much and I need so much repetition. And with the sleep deprivation and busyness of looking after a new baby it's extremely mentally taxing! Overall we're off to a good start so we'll try to keep going a day at a time.
Congratulations on your handsome little man! Special times are coming ahead!
The first few months as a parent are trying. Don't pressure yourself. Just take your time, try to push yourself a little extra mile week after week to speak more Norwegian with your partner and slowly, before you know it, the habit will sink in. And as tiredness slowly moves out and you recover mental strength, you will be able to walk over to the final stretch of your challenge and switch completely to ml@h.
As to Norwegian media, start little by little: maybe 10min a day, and go increasing this span as you grow more comfortable or/and less tired. Choose a time of the day when you are less tired and have more time to yourself to sit with a good cup of tea and listen.
All my best wishes to you and your beautiful family.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
I echo everything Amy says. Just wanted to say also that I have a Norwegian colleague whose children follow some internet-based programme run by the Norwegian government to foster language sklls among children with Norwegian heritage living abroad. I guess it is for much older chidlren but good to know it exists!
Alison, congratulations to you and your husband! We're happy to help welcome your sweet son into the world!
It's true, the first few months can be very tiring so, while it's good to do what you can with the minority languages, please don't pressure yourself too much. Just move forward at a sane and steady pace, day by day. And above all, savor this precious time with your son--he'll be 10 years old (like my son) before you know it!
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: School starts again tomorrow. This year, exceptionally, 7yo will have all of her ml classes in 2 half days, instead of 1h/day. We'll see how that goes. (She's in 2nd grade.)
Sept 3, 2017 17:58:36 GMT 9
Amy: "Bonne rentrée" Mayken! Hope this new schedule will work well for your daughter though I have no doubt she will keep up her already excellent bilingual level
Sept 3, 2017 18:57:33 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks Amy! Bonne rentrée to you too! My daughter has ml on Tuesday mornings (tomorrow!) and Thursday afternoons.
Sept 5, 2017 5:39:39 GMT 9
Amy: First Wednesday at home magic: ml2 bathed home and catching my 5 year old singing along her music player in ml2.... Bilingual bliss! Only you fellow bilingual parents could understand this
Sept 6, 2017 21:05:46 GMT 9
Mayken: Planning to send my daughter to ml school again during the next holidays. But it's ok, she's looking forward to it!
Sept 8, 2017 4:45:12 GMT 9
Mayken: We had our parents meetings with the ml teacher, my daughter will have a lot of work this year! One parent asked "which kids actually do speak ml at home?" Does that mean many of them don't???
Sept 13, 2017 5:02:26 GMT 9
Nellie: Mayken - my daughter is a lot younger than yours (just starting PS), but in her class there are two children with Spanish-speaking parents, but apparently neither of them actually speak it...disappointing!
Sept 13, 2017 6:28:10 GMT 9
Amy: Nellie, these 2 kids might simply be passive bilinguals, and as you know the penny might simply drop one day and they'll start using Spanish...
Sept 13, 2017 17:05:33 GMT 9
Mayken: In our ml class the kids are required to have a high level of ml. In class they only speak ml (this year there's a penalty for speaking ML!). I assumed they all speak ml with the ml parent at home. (I've known those kids for 2 years.)
Sept 13, 2017 23:42:56 GMT 9
Nellie: Yes I'm sure you're right and they are passive bilinguals! And they are young. I certainly hope by your daughter's age that my little one will be speaking ml1 with me - have already seen a lot of progress over the last week! The penny is dropping!
Sept 14, 2017 5:51:52 GMT 9
Patricia: Has anyone encountered studies, or personal accounts, of bilingualism (or multilingualism) playing a role in delayed speech?
Sept 15, 2017 1:31:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Patricia, please complete your Profile (see my "welcome message" for guidance), then post your questions to the forum boards. Thank you.
Sept 15, 2017 6:14:15 GMT 9