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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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
Amy: Looks like the 3 weeks in ml1 country paid off: my ML mother reports my youngest would only speak ml1 to her! Lol Not sure ML childminder will be so happy when she returns... loool!
Aug 25, 2018 0:38:50 GMT 9
Mayken: Sounds like fun times ahead, Amy! Keep us posted.
Aug 27, 2018 23:15:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Something Strange Happened 2 Days After We Moved into Our New House (And Its Significance to Change and Transformation on the Bilingual Journey)buff.ly/2ww8WDD
Aug 31, 2018 10:30:39 GMT 9
Amy: Happiest bilingual mum in the world : the new lady who conducts activities in ml2 with my eldest just assessed her level as pretty much equivalent to that of a native ml2 child! After that awful back-to-school start, this is like music to my ears.
Sept 6, 2018 0:00:13 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've been thinking for a long time to write an update and hopefully, I will do it one day. My brother married a Russian woman. That was nice to see that my 5-year-old daughter could play with her and speak English together!
Sept 7, 2018 21:37:25 GMT 9
Wojtek: After some time, she ran up and told me: "She is speaking English!"
Sept 7, 2018 21:38:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice to hear your happy news, Wojtek! And congratulations to your brother and his bride! It sounds like they may have a bilingual child in their future, too! Cheers to you all!
Sept 7, 2018 21:58:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Victor's flashcards look amazing! I hope I'll win the giveaway - if not, I'll purchase a set for Christmas for sure. Thanks Adam for sharing these gems with us!
Sept 26, 2018 23:32:30 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, I second Mayken's enthusiasm and gratitude for your posting about Victor's flashcards, they look amazing, thank you so much for the post! I already bought one set
Sept 30, 2018 10:25:51 GMT 9