Originally Posted by ekh
My husband is German and I am American but we speak German at home. We only speak English if we are around my family or our friends who do not speak German. Our baby is only 3 months old at this point but we are concerned that she will be a bit language confused...and my husband is worried that she will pick up incorrect structures from me and that her German will be Americanized. I think she will do fine, but does anyone have any input?
I think outside reinforcement is important. Kids will learn what is right from wrong. Maybe you know this, but even as a second langauge speaker, you eventually get a good grasp of what is grammatically right or wrong even if you don't know why. If you speak it this way, but every one else she has ever heard speaks it that way, they will pick up that way. When she is old enough, find a German speaking play group and eventually a German school. Start showing her some kids shows in German. Listen to German music. Go to Germany often. Do what you can.
It is funny occasionally because the kids at my daughter's daycare are starting to pick up German from her. One of the 22 month olds there has now learned 'NEIN!' and says it often. My daughter usually says both 'no' and 'nein' together to make sure the point is clear.
I know for myself as a GSL speaker that I try everyday to keep up with it. I watch Tagesschau/Tagesthemen, Spongebob Schwammkopf, try to watch German TV online whenever I can. I speak to my husband and he speaks to me in German some percentage of the time. My in-laws only understand German, so I try to write them at least once a week through ICQ. Most of our conversations last well over an hour. I read news articles in German several times a week. I have some books at home that are in German that I read when I can. We try to go back to Germany at least once a year. We are going there in December for well over a month. All of this shapes my German without me realizing it. I now have a feel for more genders, but I didn't book learn them. I absorbed it without thinking. I sometimes open up my daughter's picture books and my husband and I sit and I point out hundreds objects with their genders just like I was 2 years old and I am really surprised sometimes.
Good luck. I can't wait until my kid starts fighting me about this.