You mention public transport etc... we actually use that "routine" time a lot for ml exposures, we always had books to read when we had to travel through Munich for his nursery. Cooking is also a great time for ml exposure.
We made one of those IKEA hack learning tower and Sam has been a lot in the kitchen with us:
There are ways to find time, I'm sure you'll find your tricks.
One of my question is: would your husband consider to not speak French with your daughter? i.e. English or Spanish? I'm really an advocate of ml@H. I truly believe that kids learn "proper" ML in the environment and do not need their parents for it...
Where are you moving to? Aren't there any Spanish or English communities where you will be living?
I'm an advocate of French public schools (although it has a lot of problems, I agree, but that's my French republican side, I'm proud that France has a long tradition of providing free education to kids, anyway that's not the topic ), or at least private school "sous contrat d'Etat". In private schools hors contrat, schools can do whatever they want. And the quality of education is very different and you will need to enquire properly.
I will have a look at it...but at the moment, English seems his strongest language, the one he largely favours, so we'll keep going on with what we've been doing and keep those perks when it seems to slow down.
In big cities, there is a shortage of daycare spots for all residents, so I doubt you will find something. Maybe in private structures? You could also have a look at Tagesmutter? Maybe they have a kid on holiday at the time you visit?
I guess we'll pay attention to the audiobooks we buy. At the moment, he only wants to listen to one CD though (in English, and British accent ). And when we decide to start TV or cartoons on the tablet, we'll make sure to choose something British (probably not Peppa Pig ^^).
Your last sentence made me smile... On his Daddy's side, they have unconventional accents too. ^^ His sisters having lived in Germany for more than 30 years actually have a German accent in English (my husband went to university in the UK, so I guess, he was less "affected"), his parents are from India originally so they have a phased out Indian accent in English, with some German hint. ^^
But it's true, you cannot really explain accents... Myself, I was raised in a monolingual family and I was the only one in the family "gifted" with languages. I had some kind of British accent, so that my teachers at school and university usually asked if I had some family in the UK. Since we have been in Germany, I have a more "global" British-American accent, having friends from all over the world. People can rarely place where I am from, or not straight away, when I speak English or German.
Hopefully it'll change for Sam...with time anyway!
I was just wondering if you have any feedback on a similar situation.
Sam is now almost 3,5 years old. He'd been talking German (ML) to us for a long time but since the end of May and the end of June, he's been speaking to us in French (Maman) and English (Dad) respectively. Since beginning of September, he has been going to a German-English Kindergarten, it's a very lovely and lively place with great staff.
His skills both in English and French (vocabulary and grammar) are improving day by day. However, we are a bit "disappointed" (it's probably too strong a word) because his accent in English is, let's face it, not conventional ^^, especially on words that end with an "-r" sound like "there". It's a mixture of non-native English-speaker with German intonation and a hint of American accent, which is weird considering that his dad has a British (hint of Mancunian and Wolverhampton accents).
Do you think his accent has been influenced by the kids and staff at kindergarten? There are many North-Americans, two Spanish kids who'd previously been to an American preschool, one staff member is Polish but studied in the UK, so her English is very good but non-native, the other staff member is, I think, from the US (I always forget to ask) (the other staff member is the German-speaker).
Is there any way to improve it? Will it improve at all?
Sam has no accent whatsoever in French; well he sounds like a French-speaker.
I'm quite curious about this, I hope that we one day can do that do. German schools (and French schools) can be quite strict though about guests etc. Anmeldung beim Schulamt und so weiter. But it's worth a try! If you are writing an email or a letter, have your daughter add a drawing, involving her in the process. Qui ne tente rien n'a rien!
Same here. Both my husband and I are fluent in German, he is even native. I'm actually proud that we are multilinguals, why would we hide this from our son?
However, when we are with German friends, we never address our son in German. And if we are with kids around, we say what we want to tell the kids both in German + one of our ml (French or English). The kids don't seem to care and sometimes ask what we just said, if we are not quick enough to say it in German.
The concept exists in Germany and France: - Leihomas/Leihopas, although this seems to have developed into a business concept, like babysitting - mamie et papi de coeur or grandparrains www.grandsparrains.fr/ it works under a charity association, so access might be restricted. But I know people who have been advertising in local newspapers looking for honorary grandparents. Maybe it might be smart to target retirement homes, you never know there could be ml grandpas or grandmas there?
We have listened to a few audiobooks (he does not really want new ones, he is happy to listen to the same one for ever and ever... The monkey with a bright blue bottom on a 4-hour car trip... hum hum). Anyway. For a few of them, we started first listening in the car, without the book (including the above mentioned monkey) and he likes them anyway.
I feel your problem. Our son is only 3 and we feel we have too many books in mls (none in ML). Last month, we sorted out between: - the "baby ones" that he does not really like to read anymore (boxed in the cellar) - the ones he used to love but has stopped asking for at the moment (put away in a shelf and will be brought back in a few weeks or so) - the ones that he has not got to yet, maybe too difficult (in a box in the cellar to get in a few months) - the ones that are a hit at the moment.
We also stopped buying books (or at least we try ). For the next few months, we will only buy books that relate to our current daily life or so: going to a new Kindergarten, visiting London, or more "scientific" like "what is a ferry" or something like that.
In our shelves, whether in his room or the living room, it's divided between Daddy's language and Maman's language, except a few picture books that work for both.
What language do you speak at the moment all together? Could Monday be ml language for everyone at all time? Doing a mixture of time and place and OPOL the rest of the week? Well, actually your husband mixes anyway to increase the ml exposure, which I think, it's very cool.
Really, I think I'd go for it, you can have time together and sometimes do your own stuff when something comes up (I think more on the line of your husband cooking, gardening, cleaning and more , while you girls relax!
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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