Speaking only the minority language at home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-16-2010, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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So, um. As my sig states I'm going to be a for-real single mom soon. 99% sure that I will be doing if not sole custody then a really really heavy percentage of it. As in, sparse visitations with their father, here and there. Right now I'm a SAHM so they don't have any other child care providers, nor do we have any family in the area so they don't get grandparent time or anything except once or twice a year.

Would it be a total disservice to all of us if I reverted to speaking my native language (which isn't English) full time? We already do practice vocab in my language and their receptive skills are decent. And we don't have a TV but we do youtube videos at times, mostly in the other language (nursery rhymes, songs, etc.) and they have some English language DVD's.

I don't want them to stop learning English and obviously they will still hear it as we're in America. And that's what they communicate in now so it's not like they won't be able to communicate with others in the community. DS is fairly expressive though hard to understand; DD is very verbally advanced for her age.

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#2 of 5 Old 09-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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I don't see how it would be a disservice at all. I think it would be weird to speak to my DS in any language not my own!

I don't live in my home country, though I'm fluent in the language of the country I live in. We actually speak English at home if we're all together (even DH and DS, because OPOL just didn't work that well for us). DH and I were very close to divorce at one point, and I can't imagine that I wouldn't have kept on speaking English with DS at home, no matter what.

If your DC is going to go to any sort of childcare, school, classes/activities, etc., s/he will be very strong in English. Even though we speak English at home, the majority language really takes over and DS speaks English with an accent So . . . . I wouldn't worry if I were you.
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#3 of 5 Old 09-16-2010, 10:28 PM
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I think it sounds like a wonderful idea. We're considering a move that would put us in a country that is in DH's language and if that happens we'd switch to 100% English at home. But since we're in the DH speaks just in his language to DD and I use as much as I can.
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#4 of 5 Old 09-22-2010, 12:27 PM
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DH is Chinese-Canadian, his family spoke only Cantonese at home, and he got English (as the main spoken language) and French (as lessons) at school. DH is much more comfortable with English than he is with Cantonese.

It is much more likely that the minority language will be forgotten, than that the majority language won't be picked up. I think putting effort into the minority language is much more important than focusing on the majority language.

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#5 of 5 Old 09-27-2010, 12:39 PM
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it would be a complete disservice if you did NOT.

honestly there is no minority and majority language. in some way.

my 'minority' language is still v. v. important to me because its the language i use to speak to my family and it further bonds us in a unique way.

plus depends on the language. english is a v. aggressive 'rude' language. and my language isnt. so it kinda changes you as a person when you speak it - without you subtley noticing it. my friend notices this all the time when i speak in my native tongue which is a minority language here.

we do not really realise the impact language has on us and our culture. so its imperative we continue to pass on our language to our children. one of the most oft repeated sentiments that i hear from everybody around me is how they have lost the language of their forefathers.

in future we will be moving to another country for the time being so dd will be immersed in the native language.

to me its much more important for dd to learn our native language than english because english she will always find ways to learn. but not the other languages. esp. if she is going to live in the US.

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