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***
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Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9
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