or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Transplanted Mamas, can we have a show of hands?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Transplanted Mamas, can we have a show of hands? - Page 4

post #61 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
I honestly don't know what you're saying at all. What does that mean, "stray off too much"? Why would they think he doesn't understand them? I'm sorry, but this is confusing to me.
Can I assume your DH is Danish, you are a native English speaker and you live in Denmark? The idea is that if you are the only one speaking English in the house, it is possible (perhaps even likely, if you work full time and are not with your kids a lot during the week) that your children will understand English but will not speak it, because the Danish input is very high compared to the English input.

On the other hand, if you make a rule that at home, everyone speaks English (including your DH), your kids will get a good balance of both languages (they get Danish all around them outside the home). What is more, they will feel comfortable talking to their father in English, even though he is Danish, because they know that he understands it. If he just speaks Danish to them all the time, they may revert to speaking in Danish whenever he is around (even when talking to you) because they want him to understand and they don't realize that he understands English.
post #62 of 112
Hi everyone, I'm a transplanted not-yet-mama. My DP is English and American (American parents, born and raised partially in the UK and partially in Texas) and I'm American. We've lived in London for almost 3 years. I vacillate between wanting to move back to the States as soon as possible and thinking that we'll live here permanently. I want to have at least one child here because of the superior legal rights here and stuff. How did your families react when you got pregnant and had a child in another country? I think my mom will flip out since I'm so far away. :
post #63 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by knittinanny View Post
Hi everyone, I'm a transplanted not-yet-mama. My DP is English and American (American parents, born and raised partially in the UK and partially in Texas) and I'm American. We've lived in London for almost 3 years. I vacillate between wanting to move back to the States as soon as possible and thinking that we'll live here permanently. I want to have at least one child here because of the superior legal rights here and stuff. How did your families react when you got pregnant and had a child in another country? I think my mom will flip out since I'm so far away. :

In all honestly, that is a another thread on its own. But in a quick answer, for practice, maybe try giving your folks 2 days notice for your wedding date- that should sort 'em out. Worked for me, anyway.
post #64 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
ewe & lamb - how old is your dd? When my dd was 4 and we returned to Czechy, even though we knew she had absorbed the language while we were in the States, actually having to use it was very hard for her and she was quite often very frustrated. Partly i think it was a personality thing - she doesn't like making mistakes, and is pretty shy, so having to do something that was very challenging in front of others and risk being wrong or misunderstood scared her a lot.
DD is 5.5 and yes she doesn't like making mistakes but she tries SO hard, we're getting her hearing checked out as there could be a problem there, but yes I think for her it is exceptionally challenging, I spoke with her speach therapist this morning which has reassured us ALOT and other 'professionals' who are more on our side than the school dr, whom the ST doesn't rate at all! We'll probably keep going with the whole bilingual thing because it is important for her and her brother to speak french but goodness there are days when I could throw the towel in and move home without blinking an eye!!!
post #65 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
Can I assume your DH is Danish, you are a native English speaker and you live in Denmark? The idea is that if you are the only one speaking English in the house, it is possible (perhaps even likely, if you work full time and are not with your kids a lot during the week) that your children will understand English but will not speak it, because the Danish input is very high compared to the English input.

On the other hand, if you make a rule that at home, everyone speaks English (including your DH), your kids will get a good balance of both languages (they get Danish all around them outside the home). What is more, they will feel comfortable talking to their father in English, even though he is Danish, because they know that he understands it. If he just speaks Danish to them all the time, they may revert to speaking in Danish whenever he is around (even when talking to you) because they want him to understand and they don't realize that he understands English.
sorry alcyone if it didn't make sense to you. but roman goddess more or less explained what i meant. thanks!
post #66 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
The idea is that if you are the only one speaking English in the house, it is possible (perhaps even likely, if you work full time and are not with your kids a lot during the week) that your children will understand English but will not speak it, because the Danish input is very high compared to the English input.
Thank you for the explanation.

I stay at home so they'll be seeing a lot of me. I was under the impression that with OPOL the kids speak to each parent in the same language the parent speaks to them in. Is that not how it works out for most people?
post #67 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
Thank you for the explanation.

I stay at home so they'll be seeing a lot of me. I was under the impression that with OPOL the kids speak to each parent in the same language the parent speaks to them in. Is that not how it works out for most people?
Sorry.let me clarify, In a previous post you had said, "I'm not sure how DH speaking English would help with that, but maybe I am misunderstanding something." and I thought it was in regard to how it could work IF you were to use one language at home, not OPOL. Sorry, posting when i don't have much time and probably not articulating clearly!!!
post #68 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
I honestly don't know what you're saying at all. What does that mean, "stray off too much"? Why would they think he doesn't understand them? I'm sorry, but this is confusing to me.
Going back to the original topic of whether or not *one person one language* actually produces truly bilingual children if you are transplanted somewhere where one of those languages is dominant.

I know *many* (I might even say most "transplants" that I've met) English-speaking mothers married to Swiss who did one person one language at home. So mama speaks English, dad speaks German or whatever. Kid is spoken to in German by extended family, neighbors, classmates, teachers, carers, and dad...etc. Much of the time (to the surprise of the mother!) the child doesn't end up speaking much English...understanding yes, but speaking no. Not even to the mother...who has only spoken English to the child from day one. So, mama says something in English to the child. Child responds in Danish/French/German whatever. There are sometimes exceptions, but I have seen it play out like this time and time again. Now, whether or not this bothers you is a separate issue. We just wanted an English speaker FIRST and a German speaker SECOND...so we worked really hard at keeping an English "island" at home.

Sometimes I wonder if one person one language is meant more for families with two languages who live in a third country. Like a French and a Dane living in the UK...then it would make perfect sense to me. But when one of the two languages is dominant out in the world, the minority language often doesn't develop as much as many parents initially hoped.
post #69 of 112
I also wanted to add that of the cases I'm talking about, none of the kids speak back in English to their mothers despite the mothers having never worked outside of the home. So being with them all day isn't always a guarantee.
post #70 of 112
Very interesting topic! I really want my daughter to become truly bilingual, meaning that she can think and dream in both languages.

OPOL is not the only method that works and there are more choices out there. I believe it depends on how much exposure to which language the child has.

We live in the U.S. and speak German at home. My husband speaks German with our child and I speak English. With my husband being at work all day, we think she is not getting the proper amount of German exposure. So I am just now thinking of giving up OPOL and starting to speak German with her when her daddy is around.

Of course, living in the U.S., we could just speak German with her because she is learning English outside the house anyway. But I remember my own issues as a child refusing the "other" language when we moved and therefore wanted to do OPOL as to have her speak English with me NO MATTER where we are.

The biggest enemy of multilingualism is peer pressure and children's wish to be like their friends. I am looking for a technique to make this less of an issue in the future - although I cannot prevent it altogether. Right now it looks like I will have to run the risk of giving up OPOL so she can learn German on a native speaker's level. Then I will have to deal with the problem of peer pressure.

If anyone has an idea here, I'd be happy to hear.
post #71 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
Going back to the original topic of whether or not *one person one language* actually produces truly bilingual children if you are transplanted somewhere where one of those languages is dominant.

I know *many* (I might even say most "transplants" that I've met) English-speaking mothers married to Swiss who did one person one language at home. So mama speaks English, dad speaks German or whatever. Kid is spoken to in German by extended family, neighbors, classmates, teachers, carers, and dad...etc. Much of the time (to the surprise of the mother!) the child doesn't end up speaking much English...understanding yes, but speaking no. Not even to the mother...who has only spoken English to the child from day one. So, mama says something in English to the child. Child responds in Danish/French/German whatever. There are sometimes exceptions, but I have seen it play out like this time and time again. Now, whether or not this bothers you is a separate issue. We just wanted an English speaker FIRST and a German speaker SECOND...so we worked really hard at keeping an English "island" at home.

Sometimes I wonder if one person one language is meant more for families with two languages who live in a third country. Like a French and a Dane living in the UK...then it would make perfect sense to me. But when one of the two languages is dominant out in the world, the minority language often doesn't develop as much as many parents initially hoped.
We've OPOL'd here in Holland. It was, as I mentioned in my PP, an uphill battle and it's still a challenge, but DS *does* speak English pretty well. It is often with Dutch sentence structure, but he understands and speaks well.

If I had to do it over again, though, I would have tried to create an English island at home. DH and I speak English to each other and, when DS was two and it was clear his English was far too passive, we instituted English at supper time. However DH speaks to DS only in Dutch. I WOH PT so he went to daycare in Dutch and now goes to school in Dutch. It just hasn't been enough English, IMO. Despite our best efforts with books, DVDs, family from the States, etc., his English is a bit weak. That being said, it would have been really upsetting for DH to speak to DS in English rather than Dutch.

*But* we're going to the US to live for 6 months next year, and I'm working on helping DS with his English, so I'm sure it will be fine in the end.

I'm glad to hear we weren't the only ones with problems around OPOL.
post #72 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
Sorry, posting when i don't have much time and probably not articulating clearly!!!
No, no. The part you quoted from me was directed to what RomanGoddess said about the child not speaking English if we OPOL, not to what you said. I understood that your post was with regards to English-at-home.

Thank you everyone for sharing your experience. I guess I underestimated the outside influence since it seemed like the kids would just be with me so much! I readily admit that it's very hard for me to visualize our life after the baby is born, though! Can anyone really know what they are getting into with kids before it actually happens?

DH's English grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are excellent… better than a lot of native speakers I know… but he does have an accent. Is this a big issue? He has actually worked really hard on it since I met him and he's come a long way. (He can now impress his friends by being able to say "throw the squirrel through the refrigerator"… something most Danes won't even attempt!) It's still there, though. Would this be confusing?
post #73 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
Sometimes I wonder if one person one language is meant more for families with two languages who live in a third country. Like a French and a Dane living in the UK...then it would make perfect sense to me. But when one of the two languages is dominant out in the world, the minority language often doesn't develop as much as many parents initially hoped.
I think you are right. We are in this exact situation. I speak English, DH speaks French and we live in Italy. OPOL works well here. In France, I do not think that she would be hearing enough English unless we sent her to a bilingual school as well.

But the "island" of a language a home only works when both spouses can speak that language well...
post #74 of 112
I have been in Japan for 22 years, married to a Japanese man for 12 years and not even once have I referred to myself as an "expat".

I will never take Japanese nationality, I have 3 japanese kids. I am merely a foreigner in Japan.

yoroshiku.

and I am probably best described as a person from another time zone.
post #75 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post

DH's English grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are excellent… better than a lot of native speakers I know… but he does have an accent. Is this a big issue?
I personally wouldn't worry about an accent...it's the grammar and vocabulary more than anything else.

The big question is whether or not your dh would feel comfortable speaking to his child in English...from an emotional standpoint. For us it was pretty natural, because dh and I always spoke English together and my German was nothing when ds was born so it would have felt weird for him to be speaking in "code" to my baby. hehe This can vary so much from family to family...
post #76 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mad cow View Post
I have been in Japan for 22 years, married to a Japanese man for 12 years and not even once have I referred to myself as an "expat".

I will never take Japanese nationality, I have 3 japanese kids. I am merely a foreigner in Japan.

yoroshiku.

and I am probably best described as a person from another time zone.
So you don't feel any connection to Japan at all, like you are a part of it now?
post #77 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by calynde View Post
The big question is whether or not your dh would feel comfortable speaking to his child in English...from an emotional standpoint.
DH has said he would be sad to not be able to speak his own language to his children, and I can understand that. We speak mostly English together, but I'm learning Danish and when I think I might be able to talk about something in Danish, I do take the opportunity. This is quite complicated to decide upon! I'm glad to have this discussion now before the baby is even born!

DH's parents' English is borderline understandable, and I would definitely prefer they stick to Danish around the kids. They are closeby and we see them quite often, so maybe we could strike a compromise where DH can speak Danish to the kids when we are with them, but speaks English to them when it's just us?
post #78 of 112
Subbing!

I'm a regular expat-for-work (dh's) with all the awesome benefits it comes with (expense-free life). I am Italian (US citizen as well), dh is American and we have lived in SE Asia for the past 3 years and are hoping to stay for much longer.

We speak English at home mostly, just because with the household staff it's easier. But my kids understand 98% of Italian and will speak it if 'forced' (i.e. with my mom who speaks no English).
post #79 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilaria View Post
Subbing!

I'm a regular expat-for-work (dh's) with all the awesome benefits it comes with (expense-free life). I am Italian (US citizen as well), dh is American and we have lived in SE Asia for the past 3 years and are hoping to stay for much longer.

We speak English at home mostly, just because with the household staff it's easier. But my kids understand 98% of Italian and will speak it if 'forced' (i.e. with my mom who speaks no English).
Hi Ilaria! Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I'm interested. Once your kids are done the AMI school (which, I assume, is 3-6, or is there also an elementary school?), are you going to put them in the Italian system? Friend of mine told me that the Italian system has schools everywhere in the world, just like the french lycée. Sure would beat trying to teach them the congiunctivo at home

Good luck on getting your expat stay extended. We only get to stay in Italy four years, max, after which, we could get posted anywhere - Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Myanmar
post #80 of 112
My kids' school is up to high school!! One of the reasons why I really don't want to leave the Phils. anytime soon! Owen has just finished Grade 1 and will start Grade 2 in June (the Filipino school year is June-March).
Italian schools abroad are actually very rare, unfortunately. I'd love for my kids to have some schooling in Italian, but I don't think it will ever happen unfortunately. So, they only get 'full immersion' once a year for 5 weeks in Italy (as right now, we are in Milan) and when my mom comes to visit (3 months at a time, usually).

I'd love to live in Myanmar! Our next options (that we'd consider, we're not going back to the US or Europe) are China and Vietnam.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Multicultural Families
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Multicultural Families › Transplanted Mamas, can we have a show of hands?