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: 28 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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Mayken: I'm wearing my language police hat today - when I realized the movie my daughter was watching on the phone was in ML I told her to stop. I later asked her dad to remove all ML content from the phone. Screentime is ml only!
Mar 27, 2018 23:00:03 GMT 9
Amy: Right you are Mayken!
Mar 28, 2018 1:43:20 GMT 9
Marisa: Way to go, Mayken! That's the (bilingual) spirit
Mar 29, 2018 0:55:54 GMT 9
Kristin T.: Will check out your podcast interview on my next run!
Mar 30, 2018 23:24:37 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter brought home her ml report card (she gets a separate one from the regular report card at her bilingual school), and it's straight A's! (Better than her marks in ML on the main report card.) I'm so proud!!!
Mar 31, 2018 6:10:44 GMT 9
Amy: Gratuliere (Congratulations) Mayken!!
Mar 31, 2018 16:54:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Thank you, Amy! As a reward, we allowed her to purchase a big item from her Christmas money--a Playmobil house, with which she now plays in ml!
Apr 4, 2018 3:37:31 GMT 9
Amy: Reward all the way round . Bilingual education can be a virtuous circle
Apr 4, 2018 5:26:18 GMT 9
Nellie: What great news, Mayken!
Apr 5, 2018 4:36:26 GMT 9
Raquel: I totally missed this. Congratulations, Mayken!! You have reason to be proud
Apr 10, 2018 20:08:02 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks everyone! Today my daughter helped a classmate finish her ml homework just before school - all in ml. (My daughter had finished hers the day before at home.)
Apr 11, 2018 3:58:56 GMT 9
Raquel: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's passing, Adam. She sounds like an amazing woman. Sending you a big hug from Madrid.
Apr 12, 2018 18:16:38 GMT 9
Marie: I am sorry to hear about your mother Adam. Thinking of you and your family.
Apr 13, 2018 4:25:21 GMT 9
Jana: What a beautiful tribute you wrote to your mother. Sending condolences from the SF Bay Area!
Apr 14, 2018 5:34:03 GMT 9
Kristin T.: I enjoyed reading your post about your mother. Those were some amazing photos to cherish forever. I am sorry for your loss. I know it's ever the more painful having been an expat so long. Take care & be kind to yourself.
Apr 16, 2018 2:24:35 GMT 9
Nellie: I'm so sorry to read about your mother Adam. She sounds like an incredible woman. Your friends across the world are thinking of you and your family!
Apr 17, 2018 0:50:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Thank you, everyone, for your warm expressions of sympathy on the loss of my mother. Your friendship and support has meant a lot to me at this challenging time.
Apr 17, 2018 7:44:14 GMT 9