This is what I love about languages: they allow you to know other cultures!
Obviously, safety comes first! One thing we do, and I don't know whether it can be done in Korea, is have a native speaker come home once a week, with me being home too, so that they get extra exposure. I don't know whether this would be possible while the nanny or your husband are home and you're working.
And you're definitely not alone anymore (I know that feeling very well).
So he's not that much of a passive bilingual, he just needs an extra push to go from a few words or a sentence here and there to all English with you. That's good!!
It's also challenging my abilities about being a parent as well. This morning he asked "Mommy, what do I do to prevent an earthquake from happening?" Had to think hard before I answer...
Poor you!! But I'm very envious, in a good way, your son is so interested in science and how things work. I'm the kind of person who loves to know and always explains the "why", even to adults, and my daughter pretty much ignores me. Usborne has some good books too, the "look inside" series, but I don't know whether they've been translated into Mongolian (I've seen them in Spanish too).
I have not done very well the past two days, but we were with ML speakers for a good portion of both of them, and are about to have a very ML heavy weekend as well. I think I just need to not stress about it and do what I can. Even a smaller than normal amount of ml input is better than giving up on the week completely.
We do the best we can, but sometimes speaking to our partner in the ml isn't realistic, and that's okay. At least that's the way I see it.
I like your take on it too, Joanna: instead of focusing on the time spent in the ML, you think of the time when you can use the ml: the train rides!
Hubby and I are trying to switch to speaking in the ml with each other, but I know that when we're with ML speakers this is not realistic or practical, so in these cases we speak in the ML and that's okay.
Glad to hear this week has been better, Alison! We have our ups and downs too, and I agree it helps when you feel you're not alone in doing what you're doing. It's also helped me reply in the ml when hubby spoke in the ML
There must be a cheaper way to get children's books!! Can't you ask your husband's relatives to send you some? There must be a store somewhere in the UK that has them or one in Norway that doesn't charge so much in shipping costs. I've ordered things from Amazon UK and even US, and they were expensive, but not that much!
I have to agree with Amy on contacting the ml moms. We have a saying in Spain: "you already have the 'no'", meaning doing nothing is as if they said "no", as you won't be meeting with them. So take a chance; you have nothing to lose. I also hope they can help with resources in the ml and much more!
Amy, I was thinking of you yesterday when I got the wipes I have in my purse and read the "sticky faces" text in the ml on them. I get them because they're convenient, not because they're in ml, but that doesn't hurt either
Good thinking on captive reading for yourself, Alison. I got a new book recently, with some verbs I didn't know. I may have to put them around the house so that I can learn them!
Amy, I love the way your brain works when it comes to languages. I also tend to think in ml for anything I do in that language (like children related stuff) and in the ML for things I do in this language (like work). But when I'm thinking to myself "I have to do this, have to tell this person this and that, etc...", even if it's people I speak with in the ML, I do so in the ml. I think my brain knows I need extra practice in the ml, and this is why it happens. I had a phase before where I thought in one language or another depending on the person I had in mind: ml for ml speakers, ML for ML speakers. Later, it was ML with adults, ml with children. There was one time when, because I was with a ml speaker at home, I kept speaking in the ml to the mom of one of my daughter's friends. She must think I'm crazy.
Hi Yoonjung. Welcome!! You've lived quite a life, moving from country to country. It's very common for children to become passive bilinguals like your son, where they understand the minority language, but don't speak it. Hopefully all the amazing people on this forum can give you ideas on how to help your son make the switch. I think that if you could enlist your husband in the English speaking department, it would make a huge difference. Whether he's willing to make the effort is a different story. The other options I see are: English speaking sitter or English nursery. If the latter is too expensive, maybe the former could be more affordable?
Don't be so hard on yourself, Yoonjung. We're all human and sometimes we, parents, get angry and say things we regret later (I know I do it all the time). It doesn't help that it's something you're passionate about, putting a lot of effort into, and fear it may be slipping through your fingers.
What I do when I have one of these outbursts for whatever reason (and I do, of course!) is apologize, say "Mommy shouldn't have done or said this and I'm sorry", then add "But this and that happened and..."
My take on this one is: don't lift the ban; if he wants to watch TV, it needs to be in English. Actually, all the fun stuff should be in English whenever possible: talking toys, TV, books, games...
I have to disagree with Marie on telling your son about his future professional opportunities (sorry, Marie !). I don't think children can understand something that seems so distant in the future. I tell my children that they're lucky they speak English because they can speak with the English speakers we know, that when we go to England they can play with other children in English, have twice as many friends, sing more songs, etc... I'd focus on things kids enjoy now.
Oh! I neglected to say I also ordered Time's Up. We played the game last week, when my daughter had a couple days off school, and she loved it. She insisted on being the one to explain the cards too, and it was hilarious (she's obviously too little, and instead of explaining the concept, she explains the drawing - shapes, lines, colors...) We had a lot of fun and learned a few new words too. Thanks, Marta!!
Glad to hear you liked it! It's amazing how a show like Grey's Anatomy, that's been on for such a long time, keeps being so good. Most episodes have me crying at one point or another, though. Hope you like any of the shows I mentioned, Marie. If you have any tips, I'm all ears.
I was coming to share something silly that made me very happy: the other day, my daughter was telling me about something that happened with her classmates, something that happened in Spanish, so she had to translate it in her head for my benefit. A mom I know told me that in these cases she asks her daughter to tell her in Spanish. I asked my daughter whether she wanted to tell me in Spanish, and she said, "No, in English, mommy."
We're about to finish lesson 3 of our 20-lesson reading program. She's doing great!
Amy ,thanks for such a helpful list! And also for making me feel better, because I'm the same!!
Going over your list, there are some things I already do: watch any TV in the ml, switch everything I can into the ml or play any music at home and in the car in the ml. I go to work listening to our children's music CD instead of a Spanish radio station. I also removed our books in the ML and replaced them with the ml books we had.
Things I kind of do, but can do better: write things in the ml (I did it for about a year, then reverted to the ML, just because it's easier. My personal documents are now in Spanglish. I'm going to go back to writing everything in the ml starting now. Thank you!!), packaging (a Costco opened in Madrid about a year ago and I love that my kitkats are now in English! Talk about being a freak, haha), things with text at home (I recently bought a new dry-erase weekly planner because I found it in the ml, even though the ML one was just fine. I haven't found a monthly planner in the ml yet - I need to keep looking; thanks for the reminder). You'll soon have to start charging me, Amy !
The only things I won't do are the ones I don't do in the ML either, like reading magazines (I'm also a book kind of girl ).
Something I didn't see in your list and I think is very useful: thinking in the ml. This is something I do a lot, not even on purpose, and it helps with fluency and learning new words (when you don't know how to say something, you look it up). The other thing is googling things in the ml (like crafts, ideas on toys, parenting tips, how to...whatever). It's also helpful to buy clothes in the ml; then you get to know all the words for more uncommon pieces of clothing and fabrics.
Who's the freak now?
Seriously, though, this may seem a lot when you see it all together, but you guys are right; it's very easy when done one thing at a time. I actually made all these changes progressively and it took no effort; it felt right. But I'm also a perfectionist, so I get the wanting to do it all at once.
Carrie , I felt the same way when reading Adam's book, so I decided to reread it, and only let myself read one chapter a time, to let it sink in before moving onto the next thing.
Hi Kristin! You may want to check out THIS THREAD (*clicky*), where we've all shared our experiences on traveling to our ml country.
My take on each of your questions:
1.- How helpful was it? In our case, very helpful. It gave my daughter the chance to play with other children in the ml, which she had never done before. Children have their own vocabulary, so I think exposure to other children who speak the language is important. We're going back this summer, so that's how good I think it was.
2.- Playgroup/summer camp? We didn't last year, but I'll try for my daughter to go to a day camp 2 days this time. I asked her how many she wanted to go and she said two. I think this will be the best and most important source of exposure to other children while we're away. I'm concerned because her ml won't be as good as that of monolingual children, but hope it goes well. If she doesn't want to go after the first day, she won't have to. My take on this one is: ask them, see what they want to do, and if they're okay with it, sign them up.
3.- Family and relatives? I think they'll be a great source of exposure too, even if they're all adults. If there are other children they can play with often, great! I wouldn't worry about camps or playgroups. Otherwise, you already know what I think.
4.- Maximizing time to the fullest: that's smart. It isn't every day that you get to go to your ml country and your time there is limited. I'm also looking for activities in the area so that we can make the most of our time.
Hope this helps.
I'd love to hear more about what you're doing and planning and exchange ideas.
We're doing well too. Hubby started speaking in the ML a few times to me, but I sometimes replied, sometimes translated what he just said into the ml before replying. This thread is helping me remember not to speak in the ML and it's working.
"NO, not like me - I speak English and French AND SPANISH".
I love this!! It sounds like she's proud that she can speak 3 languages, and this will make your life so much easier, because she'll want to keep speaking all three.
Regarding the library, will the public one take long to open? If not, I'd wait and see. If you think it will, then you may want to consider whether you need to use the private library in the meantime or if it's something that can wait. If it can wait, you can check them both out and then decide. Just a thought. I would love to find a ml library, but I secretly love not having to return any books and being able to keep them.
We watch tons of American TV shows, Marie . This is how I went from learning British English at school to speaking more of an American English: TV. There are shows only my husband or I watch and others we watch together. We also watch some British series. I love Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey when it was still on, although they're harder for me to understand.
We just finished watching Orphan Black, which was amazing in the beginning, but got a little boring towards the end. Yesterday, we started watching The Handmaid's Tale, which has me intrigued so far. I'm rewatching Being Erica, because I loved the show. Another fun one I'm enjoying so far is The Good Place. The Good Doctor is good too. We've been watching Grey's Anatomy since the beginning (...of times, haha), 5-0, Criminal Minds, Chicago Fire (this one is also hard to understand, but that's a good thing), Elementary, The Big Bang Theory (L-O-V-E this one)... A little of everything, really. I don't like scary, gloomy or bloody, so hubby watches those shows by himself: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones...
How we watch so many shows, I don't know. We usually watch one or two at night when the children are sleeping.
Congratulations, Amy!! I'm amazed by how your eldest has learned to read all by herself (with lots of help from mom, I'm sure, but not following any method, just reading). I also think it's great that she's so eager to play games that involve counting and reading; lucky you!
3-word sentences already? Wow!! They're supposed to use 2-word sentences at around age 2. It sounds like she'll soon be a chatterbox, if she isn't already!
All in all, it looks like everything is going very well. Good luck on your ML homework. That's something I fear too, so I'll be taking notes.
Carrie, I think it's because we're discussing books that were originally written in English that you have to look for translations. Living in the US, it makes sense that you come across other books or TV shows that can't be found in Spanish either. But there are lots of books that are originally written in other languages, or shows from those countries too. I have this same problem and my ml is English: there have been books in Spanish that I would have loved to have, but I can't, because they haven't been translated into English. Still, I agree that English is everywhere, which makes it easier to find resources in this language.
Just this past week I found that one of our main newspapers is having a collection of Disney books+movies sold along with their newspapers. My daughter would have loved to have them, but, even though the DVDs come in different languages, the books are in Spanish.
That's nice that you got some ml help in the form of your dad, Undraa!!
I'm now picturing your son putting his pants on and taking them off over and over again.
Glad to hear they're both doing so well, one with the comic book and the other one learning lots of new words.
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Amy: Just received your novel Adam, just in time for the weekend! I already read 3 chapters and am loving the style! Congrats!
Feb 10, 2018 6:25:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's so nice to hear, Amy! I look forward to more impressions as you continue reading!
Feb 10, 2018 10:46:14 GMT 9
Mayken: After writing a letter in the ML to her new friend for whom it is the ml, my daughter is now on the phone with her friend from ml country. (And hiding in her room with my phone. No more phone cords to hold her back.)
Feb 11, 2018 23:13:29 GMT 9
Nellie: Book ordered Adam!
Feb 15, 2018 6:20:36 GMT 9
Nellie: Mayken - so cute! The terrible teens are approaching!
Feb 15, 2018 6:21:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nellie, thank you! I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to your impressions!
Feb 15, 2018 6:34:04 GMT 9
Wojtek: I found sample Eiken tests on grade 5 and 4 (There was Adam's article) and did the first part with my daughter (20 questions). On Grade 5 she did 16 of 20 correctly and on grade 4: 12 of 20. Not so bad though. She failed those where grammar was included.
Feb 15, 2018 20:43:25 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, your daughter is still very young so I would say those are really positive results! Your efforts are clearly producing a lot of progress. Good for you, and good for your daughter!
Feb 16, 2018 7:52:23 GMT 9
Undraa: A big congrats from my end to you for your new book Adam!
Feb 16, 2018 16:50:56 GMT 9
Wojtek: Big thanks, Adam. Those tests on grade 5 are so basic but anyway they prove that my girl understands them and knows the answers. That was quite interesting experience.
Feb 16, 2018 16:54:32 GMT 9
Wojtek: Congratulations on your book, Adam! I read the beginning on Amazon and as always I have the impression you took several pages from the dictionary with a range of sophisticated words and just put them in. That's why the book will be very valuable for me.
Feb 16, 2018 17:01:19 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, thanks! Even if you're unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary, I think the lively story will carry you through the book. I hope you enjoy it, and also find it useful for your English!
Feb 16, 2018 18:43:12 GMT 9
Dani: Hi everyone, It has been a while... Congrats on your new book Adam! Would love to get a copy too.
Feb 17, 2018 8:30:36 GMT 9