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!
Raquel: I love it, Mayken! What a sweet lady. I would have listened in and not asked, hehe. Did you use it to show your daughter how useful the ml can be?
Dec 21, 2017 20:35:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, my daughter loved it - both the coincidence, and that this lady was learning our language!
Dec 24, 2017 22:25:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Happy New Year to you all! Let's make 2018 a really good year!
Dec 31, 2017 7:04:50 GMT 9
Joanna: Packing to go home from Canada...luggage scale reading 23 kg of minority language books!
Dec 31, 2017 23:48:06 GMT 9
Amy: Happy new year to all! . May 2018 bring you every success in your bilingual endeavours!
Jan 1, 2018 23:08:58 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy new year to everyone! I shared a little New Year's Eve story in the Snack Bar.
Jan 5, 2018 5:08:21 GMT 9
Mayken: 7yo wrote her Christmas letter in the ml and sent it to Santa's address in our ml country. This week she received his reply - and was somewhat offended that he replied in the ML
Jan 5, 2018 21:47:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's very cute, Mayken!
Jan 6, 2018 7:57:09 GMT 9
Amy: Oh no Mayken!! I'd also feel very gutted in her shoes! Hope he made up for it by spoiling her on Xmas!
Jan 7, 2018 1:12:53 GMT 9
Mayken: He totally did, Amy! Especially her most important wish - the second illustrated Harry Potter (in ml, of course).
Jan 9, 2018 0:06:05 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy 2018!! How come Santa replied in the wrong language? That's weird.
Jan 9, 2018 19:26:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, he gets letters from all over the world at that German address, and I guess the reply is in the language that matches the country fo the child's return address. Next time she'll use my mom's address (if she still wants to write to Santa then).
Jan 10, 2018 0:38:19 GMT 9
Raquel: Mayken, I just was surprised that, reading a letter in a certain language, they would reply in a different one. But if it's an standarized letter, then it makes total sense.
Jan 10, 2018 21:42:23 GMT 9
Mayken: It is. Our local ML Santa, to whom my daughter wrote the year before (in ml) replied in ML too but started the letter with her name. But then he's serving a town of 37,000 people only.
Jan 10, 2018 23:18:32 GMT 9
Raquel: Makes sense, Mayken. Thanks for explaining.
Jan 11, 2018 22:31:51 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter called me out twice this week for using the wrong language with her. The second time it was only one work (number of a métro line).
Jan 12, 2018 0:16:39 GMT 9