Thanks for your answers. The idea of talking ML to her is not very appealing to me because I have already got used to speaking my non-native English to her and I fear I will start mixing languages. I maybe will tell Clara to say, "Say hola or Say hi", depending on the person she is speaking too. As you both say, when she gets older she will distinguish the languages better. So far when we find kids in the park I keep on speaking to her in English and somehow I repeat what I have told her to the other kids in Catalan and I paraphrase to Clara in English what the kid said. Not sure if it is a good option but somehow I think Clara can get both inputs in Catalan/Spanish and in English and it may be easier for her to get the message because she listens to it twice (she may also get tired of her mother talking like a parrot!).
Yesterday I went to the park with Clara. She is one year old and she doesn't speak yet. I always talk to her in my non-native English and now whenever we meet someone I always tell her "say hi, Clara", people answer her back "hi", and yesterday in the park some kids even started to talk to her in their half English/Spanish language. But my concern is if maybe I should tell her to say "hola" because she is addressing Spanish/Catalan speakers. When she grows up and interacts more, I will tell her things like "tell this boy how old you are" or "tell grandpa what we did yesterday". She may answer back in English and maybe this will be confusing for her.
Thanks Lucia and Wojtek for your answers. Using a special language between my daughter and me and have our own "secret code" can be something she might like. As Wojtek says, respect! for your stepsister Lucia. I hope I will be such a tenacious person in case Clara uses only ML with me. I also thought of that situation when my daughter may ask me not to talk in front of some people and what to do in that case. Well, I still have time ahead to think of possible solutions to possible future problems (haha).
Hi, my daughter is just a baby, and so far she just can patiently listen to me singing, playing role plays and doing the monkey around in my non-native English. I mean she can't complain and say ...come on mommy stop talking that stuff and start speaking like everybody else does (Spanish or Catalan in our case). But I have been lately thinking about when that moment will come...because I suppose she will ask one day why I speak English to her. I do it because I think it will be very positive for her to be able to understand and hopefully speak English (which I particularly love) but I don't think a child can feel very motivated by this reason. Kids want to see quick and down to earth motivations. Anybody has already gone through the experience?
I do think reading is key. I have been reading to my 6 month old baby since she was born (even before she was born) and I feel very reassured when I do it. It is very positive in many ways. On the one hand it helps me to be talkative when I am tired and I have ran out of ideas (talking to a baby who cannot answer can be a bit boring sometimes), I learn new words and finally I am more expressive when I read a story than when I just talk about everyday life.
I have just started my bilingual journey but hopefully our Clara will be trilingual. I speak English to her though it is not my mother tongue, my husband speaks Catalan to her, and some relatives will speak Spanish to her. We have consider that my husband speaks Catalan and English to her to give her more input but the fact that he would switch languages (Catalan and English) worries me too. As you say the fact that your child hears you speaking English and German may sound as confusing especially if English has not been established as your main language between you and your child.
Thanks for your words. So far I do read books to my baby and I narrate what we are doing. I also sing to her and we listen to songs and somehow dance in front of the mirror (she loves that). I will definitely speak to her more when we are outdoors (the idea of naming colors is nice) and I will start naming things at the supermarket so I will practice and enlarge my vocabulary.
I am also a Spanish mom who has decided to raise her kid in English. My baby is just two months old and so far I have just spoken in English to her. But I have realised that I speak to her less and in a quieter voice when we are with people. I think I do it because I think some may think I want to show off or that I am a sort of eccentric. But what I try to remember is that there will always be people who will criticize me for raising my kid in English or for any other reason. But what I don't want to do is sacrifice my bilingual project for people who I don't even know.
What I also do is check this site from day to day to feel more reassured in my promise.
Thanks all of you. Poor little Clara, I am singing to her our 5 lullabies every time she opens her eyes! Friends and family so far support our decision although I suspect some think I will give up soon (hihi). I am quite positive and surprised that even when I felt low (I have got temperature and some medical issues) I felt better talking to her in English...as if it was our secret language.
I will keep in contact and thanks again for your kind words.
Finally it was a baby girl and we were really glad. She arrived on the 8th of February and from that moment I started to speak to her in English..so far everything goes more or less smooth and we are all very happy.
Bridgette, I will soon start my bilingual journey in my non-native English and I wonder about my not deep knowledge of vocabulary...but I think that sometimes it is not that important to find the right word but to be able to communicate...so paraphrasing (explaining what you want to say although you do not know the exact word) can be a solution when your child wants to know a specific word, and if he insists, maybe think of some game he can do looking for the word in some picture dictionaries or other online resources could also work.
My baby is due by the end of January and so far I have been talking to him or her (we do not want to know whether it is a boy or a girl) in English (our ml, cause I am Spanish/Catalan speaker), reading books (not everyday but on a regular basis) and we have subscribed to some English TV channels...I think I should look for some CDs to play background music while being at home as you suggest. Finally, I have read a book called "Let's Play and Learn Together" by Roni Cohen Leiderman and summarized its ideas on colourful cardboards which I have stuck on the walls to have more ideas to speak about.
Joanna, I already ordered the Dr Seuss book "Oh Baby, The Places You'll Go".
These days I have been informing some relatives about our plan to bring up our kid trilingual. Most people's reactions have been positive, though some have asked me if I am not worried about affecting the child-mother bond by using my non-native language with him/her. Any person who has also used his/her non-native language has gone through this kind of situation?
Hi and thanks for your warm welcome to all of you. Hopefully my picture is not upside down anymore.
Adam, I already checked some months ago your page for new parents but reviewing it will be a good idea.
Joanna about getting rid of our television I don't think I will, but what I am doing is watching it in English as much as I can (in Spanish television all movies are translated to Spanish, but there is an option to listen to them in their original versions)...let's see if my husband gets used to it because he is a little stressed when he does not manage to fully understand movies.
I am already reading stories to the belly (I just got 3 books so far) basically for me to get used to it (so far baby can't hear much ) but I will check that book about Dr Seuss.
And finally, Dani, yes, I agree English is widely spoken and there are thousands of resources. Moreover, there are many tourists where I live and although most are German there are also a lot of British. And about nursery rhymes, do you know any related to counting fingers or body parts? So far my nursery rhymes repertoire is "Baa Baa Black Sheep", "Oh Mister Sun", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "Crocked Man" and last but not least "Old McDonald Had a Farm."
Hi, I am Joana, a mother to be in January. I am Spanish and I live in Spain. I am an English teacher and hopefully my husband and me will raise our kid trilingual (in Majorca we speak Spanish and Catalan and I will speak English to my kid).
So far I have read 3 books on the topic, learnt some nursery rhymes and looked for online resources. Any further suggestions?
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Amy: Right you are Mayken!
Mar 28, 2018 1:43:20 GMT 9
Marisa: Way to go, Mayken! That's the (bilingual) spirit
Mar 29, 2018 0:55:54 GMT 9
Kristin T.: Will check out your podcast interview on my next run!
Mar 30, 2018 23:24:37 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter brought home her ml report card (she gets a separate one from the regular report card at her bilingual school), and it's straight A's! (Better than her marks in ML on the main report card.) I'm so proud!!!
Mar 31, 2018 6:10:44 GMT 9
Amy: Gratuliere (Congratulations) Mayken!!
Mar 31, 2018 16:54:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Thank you, Amy! As a reward, we allowed her to purchase a big item from her Christmas money--a Playmobil house, with which she now plays in ml!
Apr 4, 2018 3:37:31 GMT 9
Amy: Reward all the way round . Bilingual education can be a virtuous circle
Apr 4, 2018 5:26:18 GMT 9
Nellie: What great news, Mayken!
Apr 5, 2018 4:36:26 GMT 9
Raquel: I totally missed this. Congratulations, Mayken!! You have reason to be proud
Apr 10, 2018 20:08:02 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks everyone! Today my daughter helped a classmate finish her ml homework just before school - all in ml. (My daughter had finished hers the day before at home.)
Apr 11, 2018 3:58:56 GMT 9
Raquel: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's passing, Adam. She sounds like an amazing woman. Sending you a big hug from Madrid.
Apr 12, 2018 18:16:38 GMT 9
Marie: I am sorry to hear about your mother Adam. Thinking of you and your family.
Apr 13, 2018 4:25:21 GMT 9
Jana: What a beautiful tribute you wrote to your mother. Sending condolences from the SF Bay Area!
Apr 14, 2018 5:34:03 GMT 9
Kristin T.: I enjoyed reading your post about your mother. Those were some amazing photos to cherish forever. I am sorry for your loss. I know it's ever the more painful having been an expat so long. Take care & be kind to yourself.
Apr 16, 2018 2:24:35 GMT 9
Nellie: I'm so sorry to read about your mother Adam. She sounds like an incredible woman. Your friends across the world are thinking of you and your family!
Apr 17, 2018 0:50:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Thank you, everyone, for your warm expressions of sympathy on the loss of my mother. Your friendship and support has meant a lot to me at this challenging time.
Apr 17, 2018 7:44:14 GMT 9