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Posts by Diyabolo

  Third generation! Ragana, that is amazing!!! I came to the US for graduate school as an adult, so my daughter is only first generation. I keep thinking: it might work with DD, but then what? If she has any children, what might it be like for them? I suspect that the language will stop with her :( Still, I got to do what I got to do and that's all I can worry about.
  Hi, IsaFrench! Yes, and we do actually have a teacher that comes on Sunday to teach her (not very expensive). This is mostly for reinforcement (other people speak Arabic in the world besides Mama, and Arabic is a serious subject that you actually have to study kind of thing). I do a lot of the "teaching" myself. DD knows her Arabic letters (verbally and by sight) and can write some of them and read small words. None of this happened through formal instructions -- just...
  I agree, and I try to do that as age-appropriately and sometimes as "subliminally" as possible. So for example, instead of emphasizing the significance of the language outright (and I do that as well), I frequently tell her stories about my grandmother in Palestine or highlight other important cultural and ethnic artifacts, events, histories etc., all of which are intimately tied with the Arabic language. Because this world exists only in Arabic, I am banking on the...
Thanks emilysmama! I wish I knew how to work the nifty multi-quoting function. I know there's a button at the bottom of the post, but for some reason, I can't seem to work it (who am I kidding; I'm not exactly tech-savvy).   I do agree with you that DD2 will significantly change the dynamic of the language use in the house; however, I plan on remaining as vigilant as I have been thus far. If I recall, eclipsepearl posted on another thread some time ago that her three...
There are quite a few Arabs where I am, but I haven't met a single family where the kids speak Arabic. It's very disheartening, and the phenomenon merits further study, I think :) I don't see nearly the same thing happening with Latino or Hispanic communities in our area.   As for my stance, I think she understands. I have explained to her in multiple ways (hopefully age-appropriately), and she seems to have internalized the significance of the language. For example, the...
  I certainly agree that the term is problematic. The way I'm using it, and others I think, is as a substitute for exclusive monolingualism. Having said that, I do feel that since English (and by extension "Americanness" whatever that means) is, at least in the many contexts I have experienced it, promoted as "better," there certainly is an element of trying to reinforce the value of Arabic and Arab culture in the face of such prevalent attitudes.
Thank you emilysmama for this incredibly thoughtful and comprehensive post! And on a completely unrelated note, I really like your narrative voice :)   I really like this idea of making it a game. I had toyed with using a puppet. When she wants me to speak in English (so far this has been 3 times in the past 6 months, so very rare), I could use a doll or a hand puppet that would be a stand in for me.  It would turn it into a game and associate English speaking mom...
  Thanks Ragana! I certainly do agree with you and others that bilingualism varies across children. My siblings and I went to the same school, we grew up in the same country and in the same household. My English is markedly different from theirs, especially in terms of accent (I have an "American/Californian" accent and they have "Arabic" accents).   I am expecting my second child, another girl, in August, and I wonder how things will play out with her, especially how...
  It's a good thing you weren't trying to be argumentative; I wonder what else you might have said had you been trying. Something even more hurtful perhaps?   Honestly, I don't know how to answer your question seeing how I have no idea how you got from what I was describing in my original post to my daughter terminating her relationship with me. Clearly, you are a much better/loving parent than I am; perhaps we should leave it at that.
Thanks for all the feedback! Please keep the advice coming. I am particularly interested in any Mamas out there who might have encountered a similar issue and how they handled it.   To clarify a few points:   DD gets to practice her English a lot. We do live in the southern U.S. after all where English is the majority/community language. She speaks it with her father and with others. She is as fluent in English as she is in Arabic.   DD does not currently go...
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