Learning a second language with your toddler... anyone tried? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-06-2003, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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My Dh and I are both English-only speakers. We both know a little French from school, and MIL was a French major in college, so she knows quite a bit more, but I wouldn't say that even she is truly fluent. Anyway, I'd really like Katie to have the chance to learn, or at least be exposed to, a second language. We have the opportunity to participate in a playgroup that is in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish at all, so we'd be learning together. Has anyone tried this, or something similar, with their toddler? How did it go? Will it be too confusing for her, since we don't speak Spanish at home at ALL? I don't want to frustrate her... I want her to have fun and learn. Is this something you'd attempt with your 18-month-old?

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#2 of 5 Old 11-06-2003, 03:17 PM
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First may I just say that it’s totally wonderful that you’re thinking of doing this for yourself AND your child. Over the three years that I’ve been seriously thinking of raising children I’ve been thinking that exposing your child to a second language is one of the most important things you could do as a parent! For me, giving my child a gift of a second language has been a sincere goal of mine. I never pledged to nurse until my child naturally weaned, I never said I would devote every waking second to my daughter but I have pledged to give her a second language. There, I said it; it’s on the WWW…uh oh, now I’ve got to stick to it!

Anyway, I’m also not bilingual but my daughter and I are learning German at the same time. We aren’t taking classes together but I’m learning at school and Aya is learning from me, books and from friends. When she is 3 years old she will begin school in Germany and will be immersed in the language.

She’s nagging me right now, in English…I’ll write more later,

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#3 of 5 Old 11-06-2003, 10:12 PM
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I'm bilingual and so is my daughter, but we've been learning sign language together, too. Of course, we are a loooooong way away from being fluent, but the way I look it at-- it can't hurt to try. Learning a language (inc. a first language) can be very frustrating, but as long as there aren't any big blocks (like someone trying to shame the learner), the frustration can lead to motivation. I'd go to the playgroup in a heartbeat, but I bet the kids will speak English, too, anyway. It's hard to keep them from it!

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#4 of 5 Old 11-07-2003, 02:59 AM
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my husband is colombian and speaks to my son almost exclusivly in spanish. in the 4 years i have been with DH you would think i would be bilingual by now, but no. so i am learing alongside my son, and i like it. IMO the best thing for the child is if they can hear native speaker, weather it is on tape, video, or in person. i took a psych class once that said that thier language centers in thier brains are capable of dicerning like thousans of variations in sound, accent, etc, and then the longer they hear/speak thier language they filter the other sounds out and arent as perceptive to them. ( thus making it harder to have a perfect accent when speaking a foriegn language) anyway i just think thats so cool and think exposing them to native accents if possible is really good.

my son can pronounce vowel sounds that i cannot, my DH says.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-07-2003, 05:23 PM
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I'd like to learn Spanish, and I definitely want my son to learn. I haven't given much thought to when or how we'll do this. Ds is 2, and already counts to 8 in Spanish. He watches Dora the Explorer, and hangs on her every word.

Dh has always wanted to learn Spanish, and I think we should make this a family project. I'm just looking forward to hearing dh's Tennessee tinged Spanish accent!
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