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Do you use an "approach" to bilngualism?

Poll Results: Do you use an approach to bilingualism?

  • 38% (20)
    Yes--one parent, one language
  • 21% (11)
    Yes--home language, outside language
  • 34% (18)
    We mix according to need/situation
  • 5% (3)
    Other--we have our own approach (please explain)
52 Total Votes  
post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just curious
post #2 of 17
We used to do one parent one language until recently. Now that our daughter goes to a "school" where she speaks English, we have begun speaking German exclusively with her.
post #3 of 17
Dh is the minority language speaker, while my native language is that of the majority (English). He tends to use his language with dd (99% of the time). He also uses it with me some of the time. 90% of the time I respond in English though, and most of our conversations in front of dd are in English, although then dh will turn to her and converse in his language.

She tends to respond in English, although she is keen on using the other language when they are reading or writing together. She is self-conscious about her ability to communicate in it (she's 6).
post #4 of 17
i use an unplanned mixed approach though i need to seriously make some changes. i use korean whenever i'm irritated so i think that ds ,or at this point i fear that ds is going to associate korean language with cranky-mom.
post #5 of 17
I didn't answer the poll, because we're not really raising our children bilingual.

I'm the primary one who speaks both languages to the children, and I'm learning Spanish right alongside them, really. So - obviously that's not bilingual. Dh does speak to them some, but since English was his first language AND it's the language I speak AND it's the language everyone around us speaks - it's really tough for him to think to speak Spanish to the kids. I get that. But still, I had dreamed of having bilingual children.

He spent some time speaking Spanish to me earlier today, to help me increase my comprehension so as I learn more he might be more inclined to speak it more. He does enjoy it, and LOVES when the kids pick it up.
post #6 of 17
I wanted to do the one parent=one language approach, but as it is dh who is fluent in both his participation is limited (ie he mostly speaks English with the kiddo instead of Spanish).

I feel like I am pushing the Spanish more, but unfortunately my ability is quite limited (I'm doing fairly well, but not well enough to teach someone else!).

We have enrolled Antonio into a Spanish Montessori program that starts in the fall...and I know he understands it so I'm hoping that this flips the switch and he will begin speaking in it more.
post #7 of 17
Both dh and I speak English and Russian, but we usually speak Russian at home. DS understands English, but replies in Russian. I try to speak English more, but since its not my native language I really have to make an effort.
post #8 of 17
My daughter goes to a babysitter that only speaks Spanish.
I speak English to my daughter and her father speaks
English or Spanish.

She is almost two and is doing well with this approach.
She understands both languages.

I thought it was funny the other day when her babysitter
told her to tell me she knew what shoe was in Spanish.
My daughter said, "NO! Mama says SHOES!"

post #9 of 17
Our "goal" is Spanish at home and English outside as needed. Spanish isn't my first language though and when I get tired I speak more English at home. Outside I try to speak Spanish unless we're in a situation where we want those around us to understand. DH almost always speaks Spanish to me and the kids. We live in the US and most of our social activities are in English so dd1 has picked it up very well.
post #10 of 17
We're very mixed up here. We're raising our children bilingually in English and German but English our native language. When I first started out, I basically knew "hello" in German. I've learned alongside my oldest and now have a wider vocabulary. However, when I'm upset or in a rush I slip back to English. I've gotten lax with it and I'm working hard to improve, to get back to the point where I'm speaking mostly German with the kids. I still have to speak some English as we're homeschooling and it would be too costly to import all the books we need!

Oh and to add to the craziness, I learn languages as a hobby so there is constantly something else going on in another language. The kids often get interested (I play dvds/music/computer programs/web stuff in the other languages) and I end up letting them participate in the learning.

Right now I'm looking to more aggressively add a third language, Spanish, to the mix as my oldest has a pretty good handle on English and is getting there in German. The kids were getting confused so I'd backed away from it for awhile but I think that they are ready now. My husband takes part in the learning so conversations are interesting in our house to say the least.
post #11 of 17
We use one parent/one language (me English/dh Swedish). Though with dd2, I do occassionally read Swedish books with her if she brings them to me. DD1 won't since Swedish is only "pappa's language" and gets mad if she says something in Swedish (to dh) and I answer - I'm fluent in Swedish, and if she doesn't say mamma or pappa I just assume she is talking to whoever answers first, and I don't always register that she asked her question in Swedish, I just give the answer. She does the same in reverse and dh answers her when she is speaking English.
post #12 of 17
DH and I speak English and Filipino, but we only speak to our son in Filipino. We're not worried about his English, since he's exposed to it anyway (through grandparents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, tv, etc.). Since hubby and I also don't speak Filipino exclusively, our ds may also be picking up English words from us as well. We're just really trying to train him to speak the language; understanding it is an easier process... if he's around us a lot, he'll get the message out of context or from key words in the sentence.

post #13 of 17
We started off as "one parent one language", but with DS's full-time English-speaking daycare situation, it quickly became apparent that we would need to make some adjustments if he was going to be at all motivated to speak the minority language (DH's first language - Croatian). So now we do OPOL, EXCEPT: 1. during meals, only Croatian is spoken at the table 2. When Mom and Dad are discussing work, we use English. So far so good. The hardest thing has been how to find books in Croatian for DS (and now DD) to read.
post #14 of 17
We don't do OPOL exclusively in our house because that doesn't make a lot of sense for us. We do it like this:

Husband speaks German to daughter 90% of the time and English 10%.

I speak German to daughter 20% of the time and English 80%.

At home, what language my husband and I speak to each other is 70% English and 30% German.

In public, it is 70% German and 30% English.

The reason for this is that my daughter is not the only one who needs the constant reinforcement of German. I also need it. So far, seems to be alright. She will answer to either of us in English or German. We supplement with children's shows in German until we can find a German playgroup more appropriate to her age.
post #15 of 17

German at home

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?
post #16 of 17
We do OPOL with our daughter, but between us we speak a third language. This helps me keep up my language skills and we hope that it will help her pick it up as well. The third language is highly Americanized because of this, though.
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by ekh View Post
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.
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