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Hi. Just wondering if anyone else has a situation like this. My DS in 15 months old. My DH is hispanic, but speaks both spanish and english very well.<br>
Even though spanish is his native tongue, he seems to be more comfortable speaking english around both of us (I don't speak much spanish but I'm trying to learn--just not much time). When we are at home with him, we speak english. When he's at the babysitter (who lives next door to us) she speaks only spanish.<br><br>
They say that you should teach your child a different language when they are a little older---like two years old, after they have grasped the first one.<br><br>
My DH and I both work full time---I wish I didn't, but we have no choice. In fact, my DH works two jobs now, and we hardly see each other. Its been pretty difficult raising our DS. DS is also very active and energetic to the point of craziness---we hope its because of his teeth---he has almost ALL of his teeth already--4 molars and all of the other teeth.<br><br>
DS isn't speaking many words---just mommy and daddy, the name of his babysitters baby, and the rest he just screams or grunts or points when he wants something. I worry that it will take him longer to grasp the english language because he is in a spanish speaking household all day, although it seems he hasn't learned any spanish words either. He did say a few words when he was 10 months old that he has now dropped, which I'm told is normal.<br><br>
I've tried to teach him sign language with tapes I bought, in person and the tapes, and he will not sit still for a moment. He doesn't seem to be into TV at all, of which I'm glad, but I can't get him to pay attention to anything.<br>
I need to get him a lead test since we live in an old house.<br><br>
Will he be late in learning language since he is spending time in two language households? He does seem to understand things when I say something to him in english--such as, " let's go to bed now," and he'll head for our bedroom door and pound on it.
 

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Thanks Verna, that helps a lot. Sometimes I worry too much. I guess I am just anxious for him to start speaking----in either language!<br><br>
I guess I have a few more months to wait. I'm hoping he will be bi-lingual, but since my DH seems to prefer english, unless we are around spanish speakers every day, DS might only be immersed with a little spanish once he's in school. Hopefully he will learn both.<br><br>
Minaret
 

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My grandson is almost 2. My son, his dad, only speaks English, his mom speaks Spanish, prefers English, but is speaking to him in Spanish only. His other grandma speaks only Spanish, and his daycare providers only speak Spanish.<br><br>
From what I have read/heard about bilingual homes, both languages should be used equally. Yes, the baby will take a <i>little</i> bit longer to talk, and may confuse the two languages occaissionally, but will speak both fluently within normal time.<br><br>
My grandson will ask for "Mas leche!" or "Mas chicken!" or "Quiero juice!" So cute! He's speaking well, but in Spanglish. And he understands perfectly both languages. So if he learns to be fluent a little later, so what? He'll speak 2 languages!
 

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We have three languages at home. I speak to DS in English, DH speaks to him in Arabic and we currently live in France.<br><br>
We take the one-parent one-language approach.<br><br>
Current research says that kids in bilingual homes don't have systematic delays.<br><br>
For the signing, I would recommend using it constantly with your son if you want to see results. Of course he doesn't want to sit still, he's a busy toddler! When you're eating with him, incorporate signs. When you're dressing him, use signs (like, say "Let's put on our shoes" and sign "shoes").<br><br>
Start with a small vocabulary, two or three words and use them constantly, then expand. I'd drop the idea of showing him videos, it doesn't sound like he's interested right now.<br><br>
DS actually talks quite a lot now, and as he's learned to say words he's mostly dropped the signs. But I definitely encourage you to continue with the signing-- it helps so much with frustration.<br><br>
Also, I don't know if it is normal that he was saying words at 10 months that he isn't saying anymore. I would talk to your pedi about that, if you haven't already. That seems odd to me. DS started talking at 10 months, and some words have come and gone but they've always come back, kwim?
 

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there is no need to 'wait' for other languages to be introduced. you will get some combined words / phrases or a mix of English and Spanish (or whatever) in the same sentence but that's part of the learning process. introducing Spanish now will <b>not</b> stall learning English and will help create the pathways in their brain for even more language functioning. not less.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebottle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10312940"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">there are a number of different strategies for raising bi- and multi-lingual kids, with some difference in outcomes. if you're interested it's probably a good idea to get some books and read up.<br><br>
"They say.." is i think pretty outdated.<br><br>
also not a lot of words at 15 months sounds pretty normal to me. my son didn't have any at that age. now (2 years 2 months) he's speaking in 4-6 word sentences in both languages.<br><br>
in our home we use the "one parent one language" approach (i speak english exclusively with our son, my partner speaks swedish exclusively), though that is in part because the "minority language" in our case (english) is one that our son is exposed to daily even in his pretty much entirely swedish world, and because we have been traveling a lot over the past few years and have been home less than half the time. if we were to, say, move to america (where swedish is not a constant presence) we would probably switch to a minority language at home approach.<br><br>
most people do think that bilingual kids start speaking a bit later and more than catch up by school age. researchers now seem to think that there is no actual delay but anecdotally in my experience bilingual kids do seem to start a bit later - plus it's harder to count their words or whatever since some words will be in one language, one in the other, and some in both.<br><br>
good luck!<br>
xoa</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: to this whole post including the language (my dh is also Swedish). DD1 is equally fluent in English and Swedish at 5. DD2 understands both languages equally, but English is definately her dominant language. We do OPOL, but since we are in Canada, we have thought about doing minority language at home since I do speak Swedish too. If dd2 brings me a book in Swedish to read to her I do read it to her in Swedish though. DD1 knows which books are English, and which are Swedish, so she never brings me a swedish book to read to her. Both girls have been exposed to both languages since birth, and they may have been a little behind their peers in language development, but still well within the range for normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of your replies and advice---it helps very much. I will put them into practice! I love MDC!<br><br>
Minaret
 

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I'm Hispanic and I SAH with DS and I generally speak to him in Spanish because that's my native language. When DH comes home I switch to English mostly. It took DS a while to process everything. He seems to understand that I speak one language and DH another but English is our common language. He's 2 1/2 and he speaks quite a bit, has phrases he uses a lot (like "where'd it go?"), but he doesn't speak as much as maybe other kids his age. He's not delayed enough to be considered for speech therapy. Some weeks he picks up a lot of new words and other weeks he doesn't seem to really learn any new ones. I think this is normal though.
 

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i would say that you should not change anything and not worry. it is too bad that your dh doesn't want to speak spanish with your ds at home, but it is a really hard thing to do and i have read that switching languages can be pretty stressful for the kids. so, you have the next best thing- a caregiver who speaks spanish and your dh can understand if he is picking up spanish words or mixing it with english. most importantly though--- this is the time to do it! this is when their brains are most open. and it is great that it is spanish b/c it is so much easier to find books/movies/signs ect.<br><br>
we do the OPOL approach with our 2 1/2 yr dd and new baby too. she was slightly behind in language, but over the last few months has really taken off. sometimes i wish she wouldn't talk so much!<br><br>
keep it up, i am sure your child will thank you someday. but like with so many other things- it might take a while.
 

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I think everything you described is normal, bilingual influences or not. I wouldn't even consider him a late talker yet. It can be trying when they can't communicate with words, I understand as my DS is 20 months tomorrow and only has a few words. But, I'm confident they will both talk in time! Hang in there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Hi there. I'm an SLP in L.A. and work with a mostly bilingual population. A child learning 2 languages may learn different words in each language or the same word in both languages at different times. Because he/she is learning more language than a monolingual child, he/she may appear to be behind in language development. It sound like your DC is going through the "silent period" where kids are learning language but not talking much. This tends to last longer in bilingual children than in monolingual children, but it is not harmful at all. Some language development experts suggest that each parent speak a different language to the child in a bilingual household (common practice in European households). It sound like you have a similar situation with your babysitter. Kids will not confuse the languages and will often speak one language with one parent and the other language with the other parent. I worked with one child who did not "know" that he spoke English and French. However, he knew to speak French to his parents and my French-speaking aide and to speak English to me. Bilingual children will often "code switch" by speaking one language and then the other in the same conversation or with different conversational partners and will also "code mix" by using both languages in the same sentence. This often worries parents, but it's totally normal and doesn't mean that the child is confused.<br><br>
Unfortunately, it's been my experience that many educators and SLPs are not well read in the research on bilingualism. I've heard many of my colleagues recommend that parents speak only one language to their children. Someone will probably tell you this at some point, but it is not backed by any research. I'm sorry that this post is so long, but I'm passionate about this issue b/c I've seen so many children whose family relationships were harmed by a language barrier created by advice from well-meaning but uninformed educators. You are giving your child a beautiful gift which will benefit him now and also as he grows. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Please join us in the Bi/multilingual families tribe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
These are just the issues we are discussing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
We've done home language-outside language since birth. Dd didn't really start talking much until around 18 months, but when she did start, well, I don't think she has closed her mouth since <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> At 26 months old now, she has a very large vocabulary in both English and Russian and can hold her own in a conversation in either language.<br><br>
She does mix languages quite a bit, though, and that is perfectly normal. (And this has also led to some rather amusing incidents....). But, you know, it does all work out in the end <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><br>
......
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebottle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10312940"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"They say.." is i think pretty outdated.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I speak English and Polish, DH speaks English and Spanish (he's Mexican). I grew up in a household speaking Polish exclusively and we only learned English when it was time for school. Thankfully, there was only minor confusion in the beginning, but I am SO happy that my parents taught me our native tongue from an early age as I never lost it.<br><br>
While preg with ds, I researched multiple languages with children and most of what I read said that if you have more than one language at home go ahead and teach it as this is the time where children will soak it up and retain.<br><br>
DS is 33 mos and in speech therapy for delays which we are unsure if they are due to his cleft palate or simply from his intake of language here at home. The one thing the therapist stressed is that if there are multiple languages being learned that the people speaking those languages are consistent (you and dh speaking English only and DCP speaking only Spanish). In our case, dh speaks mostly English with ds which I'm not happy about. I have held back on Polish because I want ds to learn Spanish first and we not have that issue of confusion. I know from my own experiences when growing up bilingual, you pick up additional languages quite easily (I took french in school and aced it).<br><br>
DS is very good at taking directive in both English and Spanish. He has a limited vocabulary, but his therapist has said that many children tend to learn the words and build their understanding before actually speaking. The more confident ds feels, the more he says. We added a few simple signs to his repertoire (more, please, thank you, all done, drink/milk) and combined with his verbal vocabulary has helped tremendously to get his point across without all the grunting and screaming.<br><br>
I can see that he's really taking it all in, and I really won't be shocked when he starts just chatting away! And I'm pretty confident like all of the bi-lingual LO's in my family, he'll be mixing the languages quite well!
 

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There is some really good advice here for you, so no need for me to keep beating a dead horse here. DH speaks Norwegian to dd and I speak English and Norwegian. She's using both a little but not much. I'd relax. your LO will develop his language skill as he sees fit.<br><br>
One book I read that was really good was The Bilingual Family a handbook for parents by Edith Harding-esch and Philip Riley. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> there really is no "right" or wrong way, but ways that work for individual families.<br><br>
hth!<br><br>
Kari
 

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We run a bilingual household. I was raised in Puerto Rico and my husband was raised in Pittsburgh. I speak only Spanish to our daughter (18 months old) and all of my family only speaks Spanish to her. My husband only speaks English to her and all of his family only speaks English to her. She understands both languages pretty well and has a good vocabulary on both languages. We have done the dual language since the day she was born. I will say that conceptually she understands Spanish better but her vocabulary is starting be larger in English which I guess makes sense since we live in the United States and everything but me happens only in English. When the three of us are together we mostly speak English since my husbands Spanish is not the best. She does know by now which language we each speak and sometimes adresses us our respective languages which is very cute. She is also starting to understand that there are two words for everything.<br><br>
Having said all of this I wouldn't worry kids are smarter than what we think and he will figure this whole thing out on his own and be fully bilingual. He is just doing it at his own pace.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebottle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10312940"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"They say.." is i think pretty outdated.</div>
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The book <i>The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language</i> by Kendall King and Alison Mackey is really great; it presents current research into bilingualism in an easy to read, parent friendly format. I highly recommend it!<br><br>
Shifra
 

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My dh spoke Spanish to my son and I spoke mostly English (except for reading books in Spanish). He didn't really speak much until an explosion of language at 20 months and then full sentences at 22 months. He now has the biggest vocabulary of any 4 yo I have ever met. The Spanish actually came in handy a couple times when he was still having trouble pronouncing certain words. When he was about 2.5 he kept trying to tell me something. One word just sounded like "quirl" to me and I could not figure it out. I kept asking for him to repeat it, he was getting frustrated, I was getting frustrated. Finally in an exasperated voice he put his hands on his little hips and in perfect pronunciation he said, "Ardilla, mommy!" (Ardilla, pronounced ar-dee-jya, means squirrel) It was much easier for him to say it properly in Spanish than English.<br><br>
At 3.5 he started on a phase where he didn't want my dh to speak Spanish. He said it "made him crazy!" So we stopped. But this month we have guests from Costa Rica. He doesn't speak Spanish to them but he understands EVERYTHING they say and answers all their question correctly using English. And he said he wants to attend a preschool in Costa Rica when we go next month.<br><br>
I totally think the exposure is great. Children in Europe grow up speaking more than just 2 languages and it hasn't harmed them.
 
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