Development of our bilingual child Nov 13, 2018 19:39:15 GMT 9
Post by Edward on Nov 13, 2018 19:39:15 GMT 9
After Amy's suggestion to make a 'Track Your Progress' thread, I thought it would be a good idea to occasionally post about the development of my child.
To give my family's story. I am a Dutch citizen living in Turkey. I speak three languages: English, Dutch and Turkish. My wife speaks Turkish and English. My wife and I communicate with each other in English. Our wonderful daughter is 2,5 years old now. After she was born I started to speak English to her since day one. We decided to do an OPOL approach. My wife would speak Turkish to her and I would speak English to her. This went fine. After a year she started to refer to me as 'daddy', 'mommy' came later though, most likely because the Turkish word for mommy, 'anne', is freakishly hard to pronounce for babies (I keep on repeating to myself that I hate the Turkish word for mommy ). Anyway, the first two years both languages developed at an equal pace. We were feeling confident and certain that our bilingual journey was going to be successful.
The doubts started after last summer. We spent most of our summer time with my wife's family. In this time my daughter saw me interact with her parents a lot...in Turkish. Outside I also had to interact with people in Turkish (we went to swimming pools, beaches, playgrounds, we simply meet other people there). First this wasn't a problem. For example, on the swing, she would say 'salıncak' to my wife, and 'swing' to me. Everything seemed fine. However, after summer we returned to our normal life and our daughter suddenly hardly spoke English anymore. She figured daddy out...daddy knows Turkish.
We had to readjust our strategy. My wife started to speak English to our daughter as well. Now during the day our daughter is exposed to Turkish (family is watching her during the day), and in the evenings and weekends she is exposed to English.It has only been 1,5 weeks since we changed our strategy, but she is really opening up in English now too. She knows a lot in English, and while Turkish is still the stronger language, I am really not disappointed about her English development. Things seems fine, and it looks like our transition to 'ml at home' made a big improvement for us.
She is still code-switching a lot. Probably because she knows she can. Hopefully that will smooth itself out later. For now it is really cute, though. My heart truly melts when I hear her half-Turkish half-English sentences. Yesterday I had a conversation with her like this:
me: I am cleaning.
me: I am cleaning.
daughter (slightly annoyed tone): I am cleaning.
Also, if anyone is curious...she only knows three Dutch words: 'oma' (grandma), 'opa' (grandpa) and 'ja' (yes). She learnt yes before no...which is kind of unique for her age. However, we are not actively trying to teach her Dutch.
I will occasionaly post an update at this thread. I really enjoyed the chitchat and comments of you guys in my other thread. So feel free to give feedback or opinions. I enjoy reading them.