Any non-bilingual parents teach a second language to your child(ren)? (x-posted in Toddlers) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 08-06-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a very verbal 2 year old and it seems a terrible shame to waste his language skills on just one language. I know it will never be easier than now for him to pick up another language, but I don't know one to teach him. I'm willing to learn, and I feel like I could probably learn along with him, but I'm not sure where to start. Anyone else attempted this? I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions.
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#2 of 3 Old 08-06-2009, 01:53 PM
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Well, I wouldn't consider myself bilingual, but I did study two other languages in college.

What language do you have in mind?

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#3 of 3 Old 08-06-2009, 05:12 PM
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My undergrad degree is in linguistics. I studied a bit of second language acquisition. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but kids don't "learn" languages, they "acquire" them through immersion. That means consistent influence with a native speaker. If you are not already bilingual and cannot provide an immersion atmosphere (where even the nuances of language are learned), it just won't work.

A good book to read if you're interested is "The Bilingual Family" (can't remember the author now). We are bilingual at home. Dh is not American... but even with him being a native speaker it's difficult to get dd to actually speak to him in L2. She replies in English, usually. We have her in language immersion school (this will be her 5th year) and her L3, which is not a language either dh nor I speak is as fluent as her English. She spends 8 hours a day, 9 months of the year in that environment, though.

If I were you, I would try to find an immersion school he can attend. I think they even have Montessori immersion schools. And forget the programs like Rosetta Stone. The best you can get with those is that he'd learn the basics, not become a fluent speaker. Sorry to be a party pooper, but it really requires native speakers to learn anything beyond "hello", "it's raining", "where is the toilet", "I'd like a coffee and croissant", etc. Good luck! (And that doesn't mean you still shouldn't learn a second language yourself!!)
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