One year later, here I am, back in an optimistic note. Things worked out great for my oldest son, now 4 years old. He speaks incredibly well both ML and ml. My main concern was that he would start communicating only in ML with his baby brother, but after one year of proactive efforts, I am proud to notice a 50-50 ratio in their verbal communication which is amazing news, since I talk with their father in ML and he had been going to a ML kindergarten for 5 months.
I felt very motivated and "pumped" with this community's practical tips and advice, while in parallel Adam's articles inspired me greatly. I'll recommend this excellent source to other parents in doubt.
The big boy was not addressing the baby at all before he turned 2+11m, he was still considering him a cute pet without any linguistic capabilities. Then, all the 3 things coincided: + immersion in a ML environment, night & day + the cute pet started resembling more and more a human being: started walking, started recognising & giving the proper feedback at certain words + big boy went through rapid speech development
3y+1m now, we're back home and I already apply successfully several strategies: + scheduled my mom for a 1 week visit + inquired about a future visit of my father + attempts of arranging a Xmas trip there + found a compatible couple using ml with a boy the same age and arranged a playdate.
You're right, our countries are definitely close, can't even imagine what a trip Japan - USA feels like, especially with very young children.
I even opened the Pandora box towards YouTube videos, although I have deep concerns about screen time at this age.
At least, the biggest one is receptive and cooperative and I see a slight shift in his language preference.
Overall, I'm confident and a bit more relaxed, trying to see the bigger picture.
Sorry for the air of emergency that I'm conveying, but I need some advice and I need it fast, before a new habit is ingrained.
I've recently discovered Bilingual Monkeys and I've just created this account to write here. Although I've read some of the articles on the blog, I haven't read anything on the forum yet and I'll start now. Sorry again for my impoliteness, maybe the issue has been previously addressed and I have yet to find the proper thread.
So, my biggest boy was not really talking until 2½, after that he obviously got more receptive but didn't start talking over night either. Starting at 2 years + 10 months he has gotten really fluent using articles, correct tenses. He's been doing this 50-50, both in ML & ml.
I'm a stay at home mom with 2 sons, the biggest exactly 3 years old and the youngest 14 months, 22 months age gap. I'm the only one talking in ml with both boys, ever since their birth, reading and doing all the "right" things. Apart from that, I talk in ML with my husband and with everyone else around here. There are no family or friends talking ml.
This summer we spent 2 months with my in laws and this coincided with the speech outbreak of my oldest son, giving an unfair (relative to my biased point of view) advantage to the ML - everyone was speaking it, night and day, as opposed to home where the father is away at work during the day.
We're back home now, in our familiar settings BUT although he talks to me naturally in ml, he's addressing his baby brother (14 months, not talking) in ML!!
I feel panicked because I feel that's a key turning point, I feel I'm losing the battle oh so early.
I gently intervene telling him sometimes (I don't want him to feel pressure nor my despair) that it's OK to talk to his baby brother like he talks to mummy, that the baby understands, that this is how we all talk together. 5 to 10% he might talk in ml, but the rest of the communication initiated by him comes in ML.
What strategy would you suggest based on your experience? I want my children talking in ml between themselves, at least for the early years, but from what I see now, I'm afraid they will not even start! On the long run, I'm realistic, I'm sure the ML will become the main one.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Mayken: School starts again tomorrow. This year, exceptionally, 7yo will have all of her ml classes in 2 half days, instead of 1h/day. We'll see how that goes. (She's in 2nd grade.)
Sept 3, 2017 17:58:36 GMT 9
Amy: "Bonne rentrée" Mayken! Hope this new schedule will work well for your daughter though I have no doubt she will keep up her already excellent bilingual level
Sept 3, 2017 18:57:33 GMT 9
Mayken: Thanks Amy! Bonne rentrée to you too! My daughter has ml on Tuesday mornings (tomorrow!) and Thursday afternoons.
Sept 5, 2017 5:39:39 GMT 9
Amy: First Wednesday at home magic: ml2 bathed home and catching my 5 year old singing along her music player in ml2.... Bilingual bliss! Only you fellow bilingual parents could understand this
Sept 6, 2017 21:05:46 GMT 9
Mayken: Planning to send my daughter to ml school again during the next holidays. But it's ok, she's looking forward to it!
Sept 8, 2017 4:45:12 GMT 9
Mayken: We had our parents meetings with the ml teacher, my daughter will have a lot of work this year! One parent asked "which kids actually do speak ml at home?" Does that mean many of them don't???
Sept 13, 2017 5:02:26 GMT 9
Nellie: Mayken - my daughter is a lot younger than yours (just starting PS), but in her class there are two children with Spanish-speaking parents, but apparently neither of them actually speak it...disappointing!
Sept 13, 2017 6:28:10 GMT 9
Amy: Nellie, these 2 kids might simply be passive bilinguals, and as you know the penny might simply drop one day and they'll start using Spanish...
Sept 13, 2017 17:05:33 GMT 9
Mayken: In our ml class the kids are required to have a high level of ml. In class they only speak ml (this year there's a penalty for speaking ML!). I assumed they all speak ml with the ml parent at home. (I've known those kids for 2 years.)
Sept 13, 2017 23:42:56 GMT 9
Nellie: Yes I'm sure you're right and they are passive bilinguals! And they are young. I certainly hope by your daughter's age that my little one will be speaking ml1 with me - have already seen a lot of progress over the last week! The penny is dropping!
Sept 14, 2017 5:51:52 GMT 9
Patricia: Has anyone encountered studies, or personal accounts, of bilingualism (or multilingualism) playing a role in delayed speech?
Sept 15, 2017 1:31:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Patricia, please complete your Profile (see my "welcome message" for guidance), then post your questions to the forum boards. Thank you.
Sept 15, 2017 6:14:15 GMT 9