Too early to add a second ml? Nov 12, 2019 4:11:14 GMT 9
Post by DB on Nov 12, 2019 4:11:14 GMT 9
Hi all --
Greetings from New York.
Current situation with ml: We have been using an ml@home strategy (Italian), with one fluent ml parent (my husband), one semi-fluent/C1 ml parent (me), and a full-time native-ml-speaking nanny (who is absolutely fabulous! we are so lucky to have her). Our son is 2 years old and is very verbal in ml -- he has a wide vocabulary already and is starting to speak in near complete sentences (though sometimes mis-conjugates verbs). We do not watch tv or have screens, so this is all the result of spoken communication and LOTS of book reading to him.
Current situation with ML: Our son has been attending a nursery school a couple of afternoons each week, and he is starting to pick up a bit of ML (English). At this stage, he seems to understand 50% of what he hears in ML (English) relative to what he understands in ml (Italian). But when spoken to in ML (English), he almost always responds in ml. We are more than fine with this, knowing that once he attends school on a full-time basis he is inclined to pick up ML and use it dominantly.
Too soon to add ml-2? So...here's the issue we're starting to explore. We plan to move to a new neighborhood next year, and one of the schools that's very attractive is a well-regarded IB dual language English-Spanish school. We like the school community as it's very international. It is a preschool to 8th grade school (that is, 3 years old through 14 years old). For preschoolers, Spanish is used 100% of the time (on the theory that most of the children have no Spanish so this will bring them up the curve quickly). As students enter kindergarten it's 50% Spanish, 50% English, which stays through 5th grade (age 10). The school is very encouraging of having students start as young as possible (though Kindergarten, age 5, is also an entry option). Here in New York City, many children start school at age 2 or 3 -- yes, it is a bit aggressive!
Our concerns/Your perspective? I'm wondering if any of the kind parents on this forum have a perspective on whether adding ml-2 by enrolling our son in the Spanish-speaking school is a challenge we should pursue or avoid. Here are my concerns:
(1) He will be further delayed in ML exposure and he barely speaks ML now (though he's so young and we expect picking up ML won't be an issue eventually);
(2) we are committed to ml@home for Italian, so we don't think we will also be able to accommodate Spanish at home (unless, for instance, we bring in tv/screentime);
(3) adding ml-2 might undermine ml-1;
(4) he has the first ml (Italian) ONLY at home and with family, not outside the home (there is not a good school option in our view for him to study in Italian); and
(5). Spanish and Italian are similar, which is both a pro (makes acquiring the other one easier) and a con (probably easier to confuse words, as parents -- both B2 Spanish speakers -- have learned).
I realize this is a bit of a peculiar question but perhaps a fun one for fellow language learners.