This last weekend was a long one in Spain: December 6th-10th, so we went away with my brother, SIL and nephew. Even though my brother also speaks to my nephew (and my children) in the ml, my SIL doesn't, so my nephew mostly speaks in the ML, which means my daughter does too, with him, and with her aunt. We, the adults, also speak in the ML with one another, so there's a lot of ML-speaking going on and it shows. I've always let my daughter sing her songs in Spanish from school, play with her toys in whatever language she wants without saying a word about it, maybe because it was in the ml 95% of the time. Yesterday, I caught her saying a word in the ML to her brother and it didn't make me happy. This time I did tell her she needed to speak in the ml with her brother. But this is useless with her cousin, so I'm considering doing as Amy and banning Spanish from home, or at least have the English flag on the door as a visual reminder. I wouldn't like banning any languages, but if it's what it takes to protect the ml, I think I will. Hopefully, now that we're back to school -and work-, everything will go back to normal. *fingers crossed*
David, I don't know how I've missed your thread for so long, but I love how proactive you're being and positive about it all...and it's paying off!! I can read your enthusiasm in what you write, as your daughter speaks and enjoys German more. Great job!! Keep it up, and please keep us updated!!
I'm so happy your daughter picked up on your slip... It really means that your ml is anchored in your family.
It made me happy too, but it's now when I have to tell her to use English at times, when I didn't have to before (like the other day, when she said "toma" to her brother, when giving him something). I think she enjoys telling her mom off.
It's now that I'm hearing more Spanish at home that I'm becoming more and more committed to only speaking in the ml with my husband when the children are around. When we spend time with family and friends, it's too hard, but it should be feasible when it's just the 4 of us at home.
I always speak in the ml to my children, no matter the situation. If I have to translate, I do, and it doesn't feel unnatural to me; what would feel unnatural -again, to me - would be speaking to my daughter in any other language. When she's with friends, I'll use the ml if I think they'll understand, but if I see they won't, I say it in the ML first, then in the ml to my daughter, or the other way around:
To her friends: "venga, venid aquí" (=come on, come here). To my daughter: "you girls come here, please".
Until I have been "attacked" by one child and his mother (ML speakers). They find it very impolite to use language that everybody doesn't understand. Somehow I understand it, too.
I don't, Ulla. How is whatever language you speak to your children any of their business? I think they are the rude ones, trying to lecture you on what language to speak because it makes *them* uncomfortable. How uncomfortable would they feel if you told them how to raise their children? Because that's exactly what they're doing. "I'll speak whatever language I please, to whomever I want, and if that's a problem for you, feel free to leave. I don't remember asking your advice on how to raise my child." Sorry for the rant, but I don't get these people. I've been fuming ever since I read your post. Don't they see what an amazing gift to your children what you're doing is? How hard, too? Especially with people like them around making it even harder.
1. English: momma, dadda, bye, here, bus, cat, dog, woof, duck, quack, nose, light, teeth, star, car, on/off. 2. Spanish: mamá (=mom), [sister's name], hola (=hello), no tá (no está = it's gone/it's not there), agua (=water). 3: Both: no. I'm not counting the words he's just said only a couple of times like "book" and "coat".
Today he said: "here, bus", while pointing at the bus. He loves them!
My daughter called me out on my speaking Spanish to her dad this morning. She said: "Mommy, in English!" and so I repeated everything I had just said in English. It cracked me up because it wasn't until recently that I began trying to speak more English with my husband. I guess she picked up on it.
Thank you ever so much for this analogy...it makes so much sense and you are absolutely right! That cheered me up, I hate having the naughty Mum role!
It was actually inspired by you; you're the one who always compares children wanting to speak one language to them not wanting to walk, etc...and it makes me feel better because it's true!
As far as rebelling goes, I think my daughter is usually quite good, but she also has a strong personality. Her teacher told me in our last teacher-parent meeting that she's "a free spirit". So I can relate to what you both are saying!
Marie, your daughter's negotiation techniques have me laughing out loud! I think that shows that she's smart, so try to keep that in mind when she drives you crazy.
I don't know how long I spent on that site you suggested, Marie! There are so many books to choose from. I just got 10 Christmas new books and they're each getting 2 or 3 books this Christmas, so I want to give them time to enjoy these new books before getting new ones. But I'm already enjoying browsing the site and seeing what we could get next.
On the topic of kicking the ML out of the home, this morning I was answering in Spanish to my husband, and my daughter said: "Mommy, in English!" I loved it!
I think my little one has somewhat learned the concept of "on/off". He's obsessed with the lights in the car, his and his sister's and goes "laaa" (=light). His sister's is usually off and his on, so I've been telling him this when he points at each. Today he pointed at his and said his usual "laaa", then pointed at his sister's and said "ooo". I told him it was "off" and he kept saying "ooo".
My daughter is mispronouncing some words, all related to the N sound: 1. "an" doesn't exist, so she says "a orange", "a elephant", which is why she pronounces "another" as "a-other". 2. She says "nime" instead of "nine". 3. She learned "ninja" from the movie Boss Baby, but she understood it as "inja", so that's what she says.
She also calls this movie "Bossy Baby" instead. I guess we've told her not to be bossy one too many times.
For one of our homework activities we drew objects together, wrote the names under each object and hung them on the wall up high where they can see when they are sitting on the potty. Then my husband put them down and hung them where they can reach instead. Now my 4-year-old points at each letter and pronounces with my help. Thanks to my brilliant husband, our captive reading strategy is working.
What a great idea! Not just moving them down, but also have them draw the things you're working on. You've been busy!
The other night, I was having dinner alone with my daughters and discovered that my eldest daughter still hasn't understood why we have kicked the ML out of our home. When I asked her why she thought we didn’t want her to speak ML at home, my eldest replied that it was because Mummy did not like the ML. I explained to her that I liked every language including the ML, that if we wanted her not to use ML at home it was for her to use the mls so she would learn them. To which she replied that since she now spoke the mls she could revert to using the ML! I explained to her that she would forget her mls if she did, and that you learn new things every day. She was not pleased and did not want to accept the idea that one -whether big or small- learns new things every day. I don’t know what to do so she would understand what we are doing and that she would stop putting the ML on such a pedestal.
Don't take it to heart, Amy. If she's anything like my daughter, she'll give you a different reason tomorrow. Her perception makes sense, for a 5yo, but it isn't a bad thing. She's too little to understand your reasons to keep your home a ML free zone. This is like having to eat vegetables or whatever food they don't like: it may not make sense to them now, but it will one day and you're doing what's best for them. They'll thank you for it when they're older.
Hi Aga!! Welcome! As others have already mentioned, you're putting a lot of effort into getting your children to be bilingual.
All I can add is a couple of experiences, in case it helps. I'm one of those parents who pretended not to understand when their children spoke in the ml. It did wonders for my daughter, who kept saying "water" and "yes" in the ML when she was two. In a couple of days after pretending not to understand her, she switched to saying it in the ml. It made no difference that I spoke with her dad in the ML.
My brother and sister-in-law are doing OPOL, he speaks in the ml and she in the ML. My nephew, who's 2, used to say more words in both, but now he mostly speaks in the ML and says a couple of words in the ml. My brother understands him no matter what he says, but I am a mean "auntie" and make him use the ml when he wants something, like a cookie. He doesn't complain, just sees it as a game and ends up using more words in the ml with me, hehe.
Your eldest may be a little too old for this to work, but, if you want, you could give it a try. Instead of not understanding anything he says, you could pretend not to understand certain words, especially when they want something from you and go from there until you don't understand any English.
Tracey, if you end up having to contact Bayard, they took over a week to reply to my question, but they said they can send me one magazine for 7.2€. I'd have to give them my credit card number and address, so that they know where to send it to.
Marie, if I were you I would ask to speak with that teacher and find out what's going on. I get not wanting the children to speak English during French classes, but what your daughter told you sounds a bit extreme. I hope it's just a misunderstanding between teacher and student, but the best way to find out seems to speak directly with the teacher. Keep us posted!!
And congrats on your son's "oui"!! That's great that he's already using French.
I think this will be a great experience for your daughter. She didn't have a problem with moving to France from a Spanish-speaking country and have everyone around her speak French to her outside the home. Seeing how good she is at learning languages she's surrounded by, her English will skyrocket in Australia.
Thanks, Undraa! We have the big advantage of having both parents speak the ml to them. I don't know what I would have done if my husband hadn't decided he would speak in the ml with them too! I'm constantly looking for ways of keeping the ml strong as it is.
We had an all-ml weekend, which was good after such a ML-full week. My new aim is for my children to spend 40 hours in the ml a week.
This weekend there was no time for homework in the ml, so, Sunday morning, my daughter insisted she wanted to do the first face in the new book we bought at Costco with stickers so that they can create festive faces. She did a gingerbread man, then we spelled "Gingerbread man" on the back and colored by number.
Unbelievable!! I can imagine how you felt! Some people are plain stupid!! I'm getting angry just thinking about it.
But I imagine there are many more who praise her for speaking 3 languages so well and comment on how lucky she is, and how they wished they could do the same for their children.
These things take time, and your daughter just started speaking both mls, so I think she's doing great and it's only a matter of time before she masters all 3 languages. My daughter has always spoken in the ml and she still makes lots of mistakes and has to stop and think of words she knows, especially at night. Honestly, the same thing happens to me, even in my mother tongue, all the time.
Nellie, I wonder if a kid would take the "cute French accent" comment as something positive or negative. She may see it as a good thing. As adults, we want to sound like native speakers, but kids don't care. I was surprised that no child asked us about our accent or 'funny pronunciation' this past summer in England. They don't care.
(And sometimes I still pull out "Princess Pup," a really annoying dog with a high-pitched voice, who appears when my kids won't get up in the morning and calls out, over and over again: "IT'S PRINCESS PUP! TIME TO GET UP!")
I'm looking forward to being able to freely speak English to people in public, rather than thinking about minimizing my ML use when she can hear me. It's a shock to my system too when I can do this! At the airport, at a restaurant...!
The things we take for granted and then miss so much! Not long now; you must be counting the days. Have a great time!
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Adam Beck: Have a fun weekend, Amy! And Mayken, that sounds like a great idea! Cheers to you both, and to all!
Oct 28, 2017 7:18:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My 7-year-old, her ML dad and a ml family are going to the Christmas market at a ml school today - and I can't go with them! (Hope that ML dad's presence doesn't stop the kids from speaking ml together.)
Dec 2, 2017 22:12:04 GMT 9
Amy: I'm sure the language balance is heavily in favour of the ml. Don't you worry Mayken. And it's also good that your daughter sees that the ml exists beyond the Mummy sphere. It will give more weight to the ml to hear from another sphere.
Dec 2, 2017 22:51:42 GMT 9
Mayken: In the end, it was my daughter with ML dad and the other girl with ML mom (but who's fluent in ml). The other girl got tired of ml after a while but my girl chatted with people in ml and bought ml books and a snack, all in ml!
Dec 5, 2017 0:29:57 GMT 9
Amy: Not so bad after all then, Mayken
Dec 5, 2017 6:27:24 GMT 9
Mayken: Not bad at all, I just regret I wasn't there with them.
Dec 6, 2017 6:11:36 GMT 9
Amy: As the French have it Mayken: "ce n'est que partie remise!"
Dec 6, 2017 18:47:06 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter wrote her letter to Santa in the ml this weekend, and we'll send it to Santa's address in the ml country, that way she'll get an ml letter back from him! Last item on her wishlist reads "The second Harry Potter book, and more books."
Dec 11, 2017 23:59:38 GMT 9
Adam Beck: More books is always good!
Dec 12, 2017 8:15:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: For Christmas: The Most Beautiful Video You Might Ever See About a Bilingual Familybuff.ly/2nI2yrE
Dec 12, 2017 8:16:04 GMT 9