Post # 1
Fi and I are no where even close to TTC but I have some things in mind that I want to do once we have kids. I remember when I was in 7th grade my French teacher told us that young children learn a foreign language much easier when they’re younger because their minds absorb everything that comes to them.
Once we have kids, I really want my child to learn a foriegn language. I mean young, like before school-age. I know that Dora the Explorer is the same kind of concept. But I mean in everyday life. Like if we’re both in the kitchen and she sees the milk. I can ask her to say ‘milk’ in whatever language.
I know that children all around the world are learning English. Americans are the ones who go to a foreign country not knowing the language..but the locals have to speak English to accomodate us. I just think why not go the extra mile and educate your child on another language. Even if they don’t end of using it, it’s still a good ‘skill’ to have.
This post is longer than I was expecting, but I guess what I was asking is if other mothers feel this way? And if you have, how did your child respond to it?
I know people might think “oh you don’t have kids now, but wait when you have them, it’s easier said than done”
I’m just curious to hear other stories.
Post # 3
I’m not a mom but I think it’s a great idea! We started learning a foreign language at my school in 3rd grade and it really just stuck with me. I ended up taking it all through high school and got a degree in spanish in college. I don’t think you have to start super early, but they say before age 12, kids absorb the most new information.
Post # 4
Are you or your Fiance bilingual? I am bilingual (English & Spanish), but Darling Husband isn’t so it will be difficult, although we are planning on teaching them as much as we can. I think it is a great idea, and yes the younger the better!
Post # 5
@MlleBrielle: It is A LOT harder to do than you think. I know a family who adopted from Colombia and wanted to raise their daughter bilingual, but it’s nearly impossible unless you know the language as well.
My sister married a man from South America, and she speaks fluent Spanish with them, so their son will grow up bilingual of course, and I told her my baby will be spending lots of time at her house to learn Spanish too 🙂 haha it was funny. I only know minimal amounts of Spanish and I can’t imagine it being easy to teach my kid if I don’t even know it! Not only that, but in America, there aren’t many outlets to use foreign language. In other countries, they al know the languages, so they all use both – it’s not like that here.
I agree, America is very selfish like that, we think we’re better than everyone else, so everyone learns our language.
Post # 6
If someone in your household is bi-lingual, it will be much easier!
If not, you may be able to find a nanny, or day care, or tutor that offers English as a second language/ or whatever language you would like.
My soon to be husband is bi-lingual and its amazing. There are so many more job opportunities for him and it just makes things so much richer in our life. I’m constantly practicing my Argentine spanish, so i can be valuable source of education for future kids .( Lord willing)
Post # 7
Hubby and I will raise our kids bilingual, but I am not a native English speaker. Our kids will (hopefully) learn our respective native languages.
I heard that it is easier for the kid if both parents consistently stick to one language, e.g. the mother only speaks English to the child while the father only speaks Spanish to the child. Throwing in a foreign word here and there will likely not be too effective.
I also heard from mothers of bilingual children, that often the child develops a preference for one language, and will refuse to speak the other, even if they understand it. They most often prefer the language spoken in the country your family lives in.
I’m lucky to live in an area with international schools. I could send my kids to a French or German speaking school, if I wanted to fork out the $20,000 per year per kid for private school. Some parents also hire nannies who are native speakers in another language, most often Chinese.
Post # 8
I only speak English. I can speak enough Spanish to help when I’m traveling and can read it way better than I speak it. My husband lived in Spain and speaks Spanish fluently. We would like to teach our child Spanish. I have always wanted to be fluent in Spanish because my best friend speaks Spanish and I have spent the last 15 years listening to her family speak and only catching the gist. She is raising my godson to speak Spanish exclusively for the first few years of his life, so I need to brush up anyway.
Post # 9
This is a great idea. It is easier to learn when you are young. Some schools are even having language classes in kindergarden etc so the kids can start learning. It is a good skill to have!!
Post # 10
I am not bilingual (wish I was though). My mom’s parents and her siblings speak Italian. I know some of it but can only learn here and there.
I wanted to go back to school or even take lessons on French again. I was really good at it but after I graduated college I never kept up with it. I used to babysit for this family whose children went to a French tutor. I would probably end up doing that if my French classes never follow through.
It’s so interesting to hear everyone’s stories. Thanks for responding. Keep them coming!! 🙂
Post # 11
One of my cousins is tri-lingual from practically birth. His mom only spoke french to him, his father spanish, and their babysitter/daycare/mom (i can’t remember) only english. It takes them a little longer to start talking in most cases, and if your children are like he was, then it will help to know the other languages (say you spoke english, he would speak spanish). But as far as I know (he is now almost 30) and still can speak all three.
Post # 12
I’m Chinese so I’ve seen my fair share of kids from the time they start talking grasping more than one language and my response will be yes and no. In terms of if it’s hard or not. It depends on the child and the parents.
All of my nieces and nephews grew up with their parents talking to them in English and Cantonese and another language to my mom (their grandma). My niece had no trouble and still now is speaking English and Cantonese perfectly. My nephew was really confused when he started talking because of all the different languages going on. Mandarin with his mom, his mom’s mom speaking another language then my mom trying to speak another language to him. Now both nephews are 90% all English only for speaking. But they can understand Cantonese.
My tip would be to stick to one language (Which I doubt you’ll be teaching more than one language beside English) and YOU really have to keep at it for them remember it once they start school. Since at day care/school ALL that is spoken is English. That’s when my nephews lost ALL of their Cantonese speech. And like other’s said unless you speak it and it comes naturally for you to speak in that language to them it will be much harder.
With our baby I definitely plan to teach him/her Cantonese so that s/he can communicate with my mom. I want my kid to be able to speak to their grandma, ya know? So it’ll be on ME to make sure s/he can speak Cantonese and hopefully by default my husband learns it as well! 🙂
But overall, to answer your question yes kids can pick up other languages fairly easy at a very very young age. My SIL’s nieces all speak perfect Cantonese & English like my niece. As do many kids of her friends.