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.
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Mayken: Adam Beck, I've found another advantage to bilingualism: when one of your national sports teams is eliminated from an competition, you can still cheer on your other sports team!
Jun 28, 2018 5:25:39 GMT 9
Amy: Allez les Bleus! ("Go the Blues" - what French fans shout to their national team)
Jun 28, 2018 5:36:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Adam, will you be watching in a few hours the football match between our national teams?
Jun 28, 2018 20:27:10 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy birthday to two bilingual monkeys: Adam Beck's daughter Lulu (14) and mine (8).🎂
Jun 29, 2018 23:10:16 GMT 9
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