We are a native Vietnamese family with a 4 y.o. boy.
My little boy is quite keen on languages. I, as mommy, speak English with him at home, and his daddy speaks Vietnamese with him (One Person, One Language). As a result, he can communicate in English on a casual basis.
As he loves languages, we had him try Chinese, and he LOVES it. He feels so excited with Chinese classes. But, we face the challenge that none of us knows Chinese, so my boy cannot have a Chinese environment to practice at home. We tried to find a playgroup in Chinese but couldn't. And his kindergarten is in English & Vietnamese.
Do you have any ideas? Would love to learn from you guys.
Thanks in advance,
Mom of 4yo boy enjoying Vietnamese, English, Chinese
I wanted my eldest daughter to hear our ml2 from another speaker so she would learn and accept that it's not just "Mummy's language", so I went with a language agency through which I hire ml2 speakers to come and play with my daughter once a week. I feel that this has definitely helped my eldest to accept the fact that the ml2 is used by many and hence make the effort to use it.
Maybe Google a similar agency in your town...or how about a babysitter/nanny?
Good luck on your trilingual journey!
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Ngan, welcome! And I'm sorry my response to your introduction was so slow--I haven't been as actively here lately.
First, congratulations on all the good progress you and your son have experienced so far. As long as you maintain your daily efforts to support his English side, I expect his bilingual ability will continue to grow well.
As for Chinese, I would also encourage you to see the post that Amy suggested. Since you and your husband don't have ability in this language, you'll need to be resourceful about working with other speakers of the language to provide input. Of course, his Chinese probably won't develop at the same strong pace as Vietnamese and English, but if you stay persistent with this exposure, he can still make steady progress over time.
In a way, this is similar to our third language, Spanish. I don't speak the language myself (though I'm now studying along with my kids) so I've had to rely on a Spanish speaker to provide them with input. While she only comes to our house twice a month, I've supplemented this exposure with music, apps, workbooks, etc. Their progress is slow, but it's steady, and they now have a basic foundation in this language that can be built on for the future. And, with more opportunities as they get older, maybe one day they'll gain fluency in Spanish, too!
If you're curious, I wrote a post about our efforts to learn Spanish...
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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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