This is really interesting. Here English is the minority language. When my 5yo son was 2, we traveled to the USA, and it was an important moment for him to see that English was a real language, not something that was coming from just me and the TV. And as I don't like to travel just to be a tourist, I managed to meet friends and live the place, not just seeing it. It was wonderful. I went to playgrounds where my son could interact with other kids. At first he was addressing the other kids in Portuguese. After telling him sometimes he had to speak in English, he understood. We did the same when he was turning 4. Now every month he asks me when we're gonna do that again.
As I mentioned on the post, it was natural to me, but then when people started to question it I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Now 5 years later I have no regrets and my 8-month-old baby is on the same path.
Consistency is key. In the beginning I realized how poor my baby vocabulary was. I had no idea how to say diaper, pacifier...but I learned on the go.
Welcome Lydia, and congrats on your baby! Greetings from Brazil! I'm sure she will learn Spanish as she will learn it from the community and you.
As for when others are around, specially family, I usually don't care unless it is something I'm usually addressing specifically to my children. I only use the non-target language when they are supposed to understand. So far I had no problems. Good luck!
Thanks Adam for such a warm welcome. And yes, perseverance has been the key. Perserverance and consistency. So for the last 5 years we've been avoiding TV in the majority language, which is easy nowadays with Netflix. We also schedule playdates as we can and the only few moments I speak in Portuguese with him are when there is a third person that is also in the same conversation.
I've known Bilingual Monkeys and this forum for a long time and now with a new baby I'm back and it is time for me to introduce myself.
I'm from Brazil and I have two boys, one is 5 years old and the other is turning 8 months today.
I am raising both speaking English, using OPOL. My wife and all others speak in Portuguese with them. The big boy is doing great in both languages. 5 years ago I started doing this because I wanted to and it felt natural to me. But then I got some criticism and I decided to study about it. People were saying I should stick to my mother tongue. When trying to find resources and forums, it was hard to find support for this specific scenario and then I created a forum, which was called nnsparents.com but with time people stopped using it and I shut it down.
Now five years later I see a lot of changes. A lot of people are in the same boat as me, it seems. Or maybe it is just my perception. I love to help and I'm here to learn and also help people in the same situation. One thing I see today is that too many parents don't go further because they simply don't know what is out there. So to help us as parents I created a website called 4mySunshine which is a place where people can add reference to educational resources and vote on them, and in this way it is easy to find what is popular in each category. I created there entries for Adam's blog and book so make sure to help other parents find it by voting on them (clicking on the heart icon).
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Nellie: My daughter came home from school with her first "naughty word" in French (caca boudin)! I guess this means she is now officially integrated!
Sept 22, 2017 5:54:43 GMT 9
Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Many thanks, Marisa! In my humble opinion, more bilingual kids = more empathy in the world = a more peaceful planet.
Oct 18, 2017 7:33:04 GMT 9