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Encouraging a language only one parent speaks? - Page 2

post #21 of 24
I'm German, DH American and we obviously live in the US. I bought books and DVDs, CDs in Germany, but you can buy them in America through amazon. It's a bit pricier though than buying them in Europe. Maybe someone can get them for you?
You also should look into getting a region code free DVD player to be able to watch the DVDs (region codes!!!).
You can use onlinetvrecorder to watch German TV:
http://www.onlinetvplayer.com/channe...L1-Germany.htm
Then there are kid's websites, such as the one for the Sendung mit der MAus which is great...
Netflix has a bunch of German movies, among them fairy tales.

Hope that helps! I speak German only with our son, hubbie English only.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kates779 View Post
THe thing about little kids and their learning of language is that it is TOTALLY different than how we learn as adults. We learn that red = rojo, that pero = but, and perro = dog. The babies don't learn like that when they are starting out. They learn on a parallel. So, the ideal way to teach a child learning how to talk multiple languages is to have a person designated to that language and only that language. For instance,
My husband speaks only spanish to our son, I speak only english. Hubby speaks english to me and to people (other than his family) outside the home. This teaches Alex that when he speaks to mommy or people in a store he must speak english, but when he speaks to hubby or his family he speaks spanish. RIght now, we are JUST starting to talk at all and while he totally understands everything DH says in spanish, he doesn't have any spanish words himself, yet.

THANK YOU FOR THIS. I am stealing your example to use with DH. I have been having this argument for FOUR YEARS. That our children are certainly intelligent enough to NOT mix up the languages and to know instinctively who to speak what language to.
DUH of COURSE they would see that when Daddy talks to me, to people in stores, to whatever and whomever, that he is speaking English and they would understand instinctively from that example. Also that when he speaks to his friends from overseas, he speaks Arabic like he does to them and they would (DUH) figure out that they can and should speak Arabic to that person.

WHY OH WHY did I NEVER think of this on my own?????
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Just curious: How old is he? Does he attend a local (French) school? Because that is often when the problems start: when they reach school age and begin reading, speaking, and learning in the majority language all day long their proficiency in the minority language (even if BOTH parents speak it at home) often starts to slip and sometimes begins to fail them entirely.

This totally not been my experience. We live in Switzerland. My husband is Swiss. He spoke Swiss-German to the kids (although not consistently, admittedly) and I spoke English. My son has started kindergarten and now we only speak English at home. We have lots of friends that have followed the same pattern and they haven't notices any slipping of English once they start school. Of course you have to work to provide opportunities to use the minority language and be dedicated to keeping it up.

Here in Switzerland, I would say it's more common that not most children have exposure to at least one other language. People here are generally pretty competent in two languages and lately I've noticed eager to share that with their kids. My neighbors are both Swiss-Germans, but one speaks Italian fluently and has spoken to her daughter since birth in Italian.

Anyway, I see it as something that you MUST work hard at (keeping up the minority language), but I haven't seen any examples of what you are talking about. If we move to an English speaking country, I absolutely plan on JUST speaking German in the home. You gotta do what you gotta do to keep it up.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by etoilech View Post
This totally not been my experience. We live in Switzerland. My husband is Swiss. He spoke Swiss-German to the kids (although not consistently, admittedly) and I spoke English. My son has started kindergarten and now we only speak English at home. We have lots of friends that have followed the same pattern and they haven't notices any slipping of English once they start school. Of course you have to work to provide opportunities to use the minority language and be dedicated to keeping it up.
I have seen this work well when the home becomes the "English-only haven". It is much much much more difficult to get a child to continue to speak the minority language when only one parent speaks English, the child attends a local public school, the minority parent also works, the TV is in local language, the other parent speaks the local language, all the kids' activities are in local language, you get the picture...
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