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.
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Mayken: Veda, when you go to your "Profile", there's a button at the top right that says "Edit Profile". Then click on the "Personal" tab (and other tabs) to edit the information. Hope that helps!
Jan 10, 2019 0:14:02 GMT 9
Veda L: Many thanks to Mayken for the tip. Finally changed my profile. To those who are celebrating Chinese New Year, a healthy and prosperous year of the pig in advance!
Jan 30, 2019 6:44:01 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Here's a lively list of 20 bloggers raising bilingual/multilingual children! (Recognize anyone?) buff.ly/2QT0eHL
Jan 31, 2019 9:01:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Hey Adam Beck, how come your photo on that list is bigger than everyone else's?
Jan 31, 2019 23:59:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, I don't know, but I wish I could say it's because I'm taller! My son (almost 12) is now nearly as tall as I am. Just yesterday I told him that I have to start growing again!
Feb 1, 2019 10:12:14 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam Beck, thanks for sharing the impressions of your trip to China! I love those duck boats and that doorway! And meeting those kids wanting to speak English with you is so amazing!(I won't enter the giveaway because I'm afraid of winning the chicken claws!)
Feb 6, 2019 0:24:50 GMT 9
Mayken: My friend S asked her bilingual 2.5-year-old daughter: What language do mommy & daddy speak? D: English! S: What language does Grandma speak? D: French! S: What language do the cats speak? D (*thinks, then answers*): Meow!
Feb 7, 2019 0:08:00 GMT 9
Amy: Bless!! how cute is that!!! Reminds me of a similar thing that happened with my youngest when she was 18 months: she said the sound right for every animal but the cow. She kept answering "Lola" because of a famous Spanish nursery rhyme about a cow!
Feb 7, 2019 0:40:09 GMT 9
Alba: My son caught us by surprise when we said thank you (in English) to a waiter in a Mexican restaurant, and he said "gracias" (thank you) to him too in Spanish, also signing it! He was having a blast and there was some Spanish music in the background.
Feb 10, 2019 18:48:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Sounds like a wonderful moment, Alba!
Feb 11, 2019 11:57:53 GMT 9