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!
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