My name is Olivia and I live in the United States. I don't actually have any children yet, but when I do, I want them to be able to speak, read, and write fluently in Spanish. Spanish is not my mother tongue, and my husband doesn't speak it at all. I speak it, but not as well as I wish I did. I also read and write it, and I am trying to build up a large library of Spanish books for my home.
I came across the Bilingual Zoo when I was searching online to see if it was feasible to raise a bilingual child in my non-native language. It looks like there are ways to do it, but I will have to enlist many helpers. I will probably implement the "time and place" method and hire a nanny or babysitter who speaks Spanish. I will start looking for bilingual school options. The local library has a Spanish storytime a couple of days each week, so that is one resource I will definitely plan on using. I also attend a local church in Spanish.
I have enjoyed following different threads and posts as a guest, and I look forward to being an "official zookeeper."
Welcome, Olivia!! You remind me of myself when I was looking for information on how to do all this 'raising-a-bilingual-child thing'. Good for you, being prepared for it before it all begins. If there's any way I can help with anything Spanish, let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you around the forum.
Posts: 42 Country (residing now): US Country (originally from): Spain Children, Ages: Girl, born in March 2016 Majority Language: English Minority Language(s): Spanish, German, and hopefully French some day!
Hi Olivia! I think it's great idea to consider raising your future kids bilingual (that's my goal with my little one!). Having someone who spends time with the kids and talks to them in Spanish seems like a very good starting point to me. When they grow older, you could also try online chatting with other 'friends from the zoo,' or anyone you know that have kids the same age as yours (in case you don't know many Spanish-speaking people in your area), so it'd be like a 'play date' but in cyberspace. You might want to wait until they're a little bit older (I can't make my own daughter stay in front of the screen to speak to her cousins, aunt, uncles, and grandparents for more that 5 seconds, ha, ha; they all live in Spain), but I'm confident this will change in the future, and she'll be able to talk to them regularly.
My own crazy goal is to raise my 16-month-old daughter trilingual (English -we live in the US-, Spanish, and German), so I managed to find someone who is a native speaker of German and who volunteered to spend time with her, several times a week, and read her books, (try to teach) her some words, etc. I'm sure it won't hurt! Therefore, I share your concerns about trying to raise a kid fluent in a language that isn't spoken at home. Not sure how it's going to turn out, but I'm determined to try.
Wish you the best in your future bilingual efforts!
Olivia, welcome! I applaud the fact that you're thinking ahead and considering effective ways to achieve your bilingual aim. Careful forethought is a significant part of success so, even before you have your first child, you're already making good progress!
I hope this forum, as well as my blog and my book, can be a helpful part of your planning. As a non-native speaker wishing to strengthen your language ability, you may also be interested in these two books...
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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Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9
Amy: Looks like the 3 weeks in ml1 country paid off: my ML mother reports my youngest would only speak ml1 to her! Lol Not sure ML childminder will be so happy when she returns... loool!
Aug 25, 2018 0:38:50 GMT 9
Mayken: Sounds like fun times ahead, Amy! Keep us posted.
Aug 27, 2018 23:15:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Something Strange Happened 2 Days After We Moved into Our New House (And Its Significance to Change and Transformation on the Bilingual Journey)buff.ly/2ww8WDD
Aug 31, 2018 10:30:39 GMT 9
Amy: Happiest bilingual mum in the world : the new lady who conducts activities in ml2 with my eldest just assessed her level as pretty much equivalent to that of a native ml2 child! After that awful back-to-school start, this is like music to my ears.
Sept 6, 2018 0:00:13 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've been thinking for a long time to write an update and hopefully, I will do it one day. My brother married a Russian woman. That was nice to see that my 5-year-old daughter could play with her and speak English together!
Sept 7, 2018 21:37:25 GMT 9
Wojtek: After some time, she ran up and told me: "She is speaking English!"
Sept 7, 2018 21:38:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice to hear your happy news, Wojtek! And congratulations to your brother and his bride! It sounds like they may have a bilingual child in their future, too! Cheers to you all!
Sept 7, 2018 21:58:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Victor's flashcards look amazing! I hope I'll win the giveaway - if not, I'll purchase a set for Christmas for sure. Thanks Adam for sharing these gems with us!
Sept 26, 2018 23:32:30 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, I second Mayken's enthusiasm and gratitude for your posting about Victor's flashcards, they look amazing, thank you so much for the post! I already bought one set
Sept 30, 2018 10:25:51 GMT 9