Your child is not “confused”. Children don’t start distinguishing the languages till around 3-4 years of age. My eldest daughter only did when she turned 4. Until then, like any child, they go for the easy way out of things (use their hands to eat instead of the cutlery for example); meaning that when it comes to languages they mix them to be able to communicate.
Yes, you can change strategy in the process. I did because OPOL did not work for us and we went for ml@home. My eldest was 4 and my youngest a couple of months old. We told my eldest daughter it was a new house rule, that everyone must abide by it and it went down pretty well (for the whole story if you are interested in the details, see my guest post at Bilingual Monkeys). This change of strategy saved our bilingual journey.
If you prefer speaking ml (Thai) to your son then do. He will pick up the English (ML) from the community and don’t worry: the ML is VERY powerful. He is bound to pick it up what with daycare, friends, etc.
Children tend to use the ML with you when they realise you speak it, they don't want to make the effort to use the ml (pragmatic little beings ). That was exactly the case with my eldest. I found that creating the ml@home rule helped to fight this off. She is expected to make the effort to use her mls and she knows it. In fact, a lot of parents meet the same issue: when the child starts school, they usually bring the ML home and start refusing to use the ml.
If you want to raise your children to be bilingual, I would strongly recommend that you read Adam's book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability; it has a chapter that discusses the results of a study with the success rate per strategy if that interests you.
Hope this helps.
Edited to add: Time and Place - Could be used to start introducing the use of the ml at home. Some families do it over meal times and get good results. In Nellie ’s case, it got her passive English-speaking daughter to use the language over meal times and eventually got her to use it out of meal times too (her daughter now uses her ml 95% of the time with Nellie).
Mixing languages - from my personal experience I would advise against it: 1. Kids need a clear rule to understand and follow. 2. When kids know you speak the ML they are not willing to make the effort to use the ml and will revert to the ML. So I’m a bit skeptical as to the result. But that’s only my opinion.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Amy: Last year, a new colleague joined my team. She's trilingual in the same languages as me. It was like magic. We change languages and even code-switch several time a day. I had missed that so much!! My monolingual colleagues must think we're freaks! lol
May 8, 2019 4:56:12 GMT 9
Amy: Unfortunately, she has resigned and is leaving shortly. I was so proud to introduce her to my eldest, one day that I had brought her to show her round my office. And to introduce other bi/multilingual colleagues. Show how important languages are.
May 8, 2019 4:58:26 GMT 9
Mayken: That must have been wonderful, Amy! I'm sorry she is leaving. I would love to find someone like that. We had an English intern last year who spoke German and French. We chatted a lot.
May 8, 2019 6:06:01 GMT 9
Caro C.: Oh Amy I sort of feel related to what you are saying. Some months ago I made a friend from the US. She happens to be a neighbor with four kids. We’ve been sharing back and forth and I’d love my baby girl to eventually be able to share with her children
May 13, 2019 12:55:09 GMT 9
Caro C.: Although maybe they will be a bit old for her, still we (I mean their mom = Sarah and me) both are very happy and grateful for each other as friends.
May 13, 2019 12:57:05 GMT 9
Mayken: As of yesterday, I am aunt to a baby girl who lives in our ml country with 2 ml parents, and I'm already planning to get them a nice nursery rhymes CD for our first visit.
May 16, 2019 20:03:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Mayken! Have a happy visit!
May 17, 2019 9:10:21 GMT 9
Caro C.: OMG I just came across this song and it filled my heart with joy and excitement...perfect for all of us who are parents: youtu.be/g1fcnhB8GOY
May 19, 2019 14:01:55 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Caro, thanks for sharing that lovely song. Raffi was one of our very favorite musicians when my kids were small. We listened to him all the time. I highly recommend his albums as a source of very enjoyable and very effective English input.
May 20, 2019 15:32:26 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter is on a field trip this week and I feel like I've lost my main purpose
May 20, 2019 20:03:33 GMT 9
Raquel: That's cute, Mayken. I hope you enjoyed all that extra free time.
May 29, 2019 18:17:39 GMT 9
SheilaC: I am concern about our upcoming big change to Public school with all English teaching and minimal Spanish. We have been lucky until now with Spanish speaking Nanny and Spanish immersion preschool. We are doing 2-day per week with Spanish after school.
May 31, 2019 10:51:49 GMT 9
Amy: @sheilac, I suggest you create an actual thread on the "Questions & Concerns" board, so fellow Zoo Keepers can help you with your concerns. 256 characters is too little to discuss something that is so important to your heart
Jun 2, 2019 23:44:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for that very interesting and timely post - it justifies the large order for ml books and DVDs I'm about to place in view of my daughters upcoming birthday!
Jun 3, 2019 23:46:00 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Great to hear this, Mayken! And happy birthday to both yours and mine! (They have the same birthday, don't they?) And if anyone missed that post, here's the link once more...
Jun 4, 2019 8:03:42 GMT 9