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 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.
Mayken: My daughter's ml homework for this week included baking a cake - there's a cake in the story they read, and after each chapter there are questions and tasks, and the current chapter has the step-by-step recipe. She's to bring the cake to school too.
May 1, 2018 23:48:48 GMT 9
Amy: What a nice original homework! Makes such a change from standard homework, and I wouldn't be surprised if kids remember more from it! I like your bilingual school Mayken! Lucky little girl, and lucky Mummy!
May 2, 2018 0:00:43 GMT 9
Mayken: ml cake homework update: About half the class brought cake (8 out of 15), not all of them were the cake from the book recipe, but my daughter's was the most popular. (Maybe because we added food colouring and topped it with chocolate icing and smarties?)
May 4, 2018 5:58:10 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Cake is definitely my favorite kind of homework!
May 4, 2018 11:28:51 GMT 9
Jana: One of the best parts of having kids in bilingual school was getting Mother's Day cards in two languages! (With less-than-perfect spelling in both!) Ha!
May 15, 2018 9:16:08 GMT 9
Amy: (Twice) Lucky you Jana! So nice to read exciting pieces of news like yours!
May 16, 2018 5:46:25 GMT 9
Mayken: I still have that to look forward to, Jana! Mother's Day in our ML country is two weeks later, and the ml teacher goes along with that date. (It was last Sunday in our ml country.)
May 16, 2018 5:58:11 GMT 9