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42

I grew up bilingual, and so does my son of 18 months. My son and I both have a Danish father and an Austrian mother. Here is what I've learned, from my own life as child and as parent, and from others: Start immediately. it won't do to decide on this after a year or more. It must be from the start, because kids learn even before birth, and most under the ...


25

It's true: to stop swearing in front of your kids, you really have to stop swearing altogether. Like a lot of young couples, my wife and I swore casually in conversation, which kept the words in ready recall when you need an interjection for stubbing your toe. Even if you watch your mouth around the kids, when you get cut off in traffic or knock over a ...


20

My wife and I have been raising our four year-old daughter exactly as you describe since birth. I speak to her in English, and my wife and her family speak to her in their native language -- even though all of us otherwise primarily speak English in our daily lives here in the US. It has worked out wonderfully; our daughter now speaks both languages ...


19

Baby talk, when used correctly is beneficial to speech development. For infants not yet using speech at all, use exaggerated changes in pitch and tone to help them learn the rhythm of speech and the difference between tones of voice. Make games of mimicking different sounds for one another (this helps your child learn phonemes in the language(s) spoken at ...


18

Kids can and will quote you verbatim on the worst possible statements at the worst possible time. To avoid that, moderate your language at all times when the child is within earshot. I can sometimes bang my first into any nearby wall, or drop objects from a slightly-higher-than-necessary height, and I have seen my son imitate some of that for no apparent ...


17

According to this article, by the time your child is 18 months old, he/she should have a vocabulary of about 20 words, and a vocabulary of 50 words by the time he/she is 2. However.... THIS article from the Mayo Clinic says that, really, by the end of 18 months (so closer to 19 months, really) your child may only say 8-10 words and that this is ...


16

"Boon" is very acceptable for balloon at 11 months. Besides the medial /l/sound being one of the later developing sounds (until around age 7 is acceptable) a child with a 2 word vocabulary has not yet mastered the concept of syllables. Reduplicated syllables such as mama, dada, bye-bye, night-night are often their first successful 2 syllable words. Their ...


16

The answer from the collective "Captain Obvious" ... Don't cuss in front of the kid ... is certainly correct. I don't expect it is very helpful to the OP, either. I am sure it occurred to him already, and I expect he asked here because he and his wife are struggling with it. So the real question, as far as I am concerned, is ... How do parents prevent ...


14

Much like Torben, my husband and I are also in a similar situation. I'm American and my husband is Danish. We use the "one parent, one language" approach with our son. I speak only English to him and my husband only Danish. We live in Denmark where the dominant language is (naturally) Danish. I have, however, learned Danish and can converse fluently ...


13

"Yes, I see the dinosaur!" As far as I've heard and read (I have no source at hand, that I could cite), it is good to repeat the words pronounced clearly and correctly and IMHO it is better for the child if you encourage it with "Yes....". Our son (now 4 years old) is relatively far with speaking. He does not like it at all, when he is corrected and then ...


12

Not every child develops at the same rate, and it may not indicate a problem if your child is behind on one or two milestones. Most children do speak 5 or more words by 15 months. As I understand it, though, it isn't particularly uncommon for children to be a bit behind on this. Perhaps more troubling is your statement that your son doesn't seem to ...


11

I grew up in America, but my parents are both from Iran. My Persian is not terribly strong (probably 3-4 grade level as well), but I try to exclusively speak it to my kids. I find it challenging at times, particularly because there is much more English around them than Persian (friends, in-laws, TV, my wife). But the benefits for my children are worth the ...


11

There is some research to support baby talk for babies, at least: http://www.cmu.edu/PR/releases05/050315_babytalk.html Adults may feel silly when they talk to babies, but those babies will learn to speak sooner if adults talk to them like infants instead of like other adults, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University Psychology Professor Erik ...


11

You can use it as an introduction to World Cultures, English while spoken in places like America, Britain, Australia and in Canada all have different spellings and pronunciations. Even in a individual countries you get regional dialects that make words sound different, that might even be a starting point. Wrong and right may not be the best way to phrase ...


11

Hi I am a child developmentalist who works with children who have developmental disabilities. One of my areas is language development from birth. The answer to your question is 'yes' you can figure out what a baby needs by its cry. Crying is the first step on the child's path to spoken language. It is the primary form of communication from which all ...


11

I'm facing a similar situation; being Danish and living in (German-speaking) Austria. I do have the advantage that my wife and mother-in-law understands Danish too, but nobody else in our social circle does. Here's how I would approach this: First, agree with your wife that learning more than one language is always a benefit. It's even better when it's a ...


11

My background: I also live in Sweden. I was born in Russia and lived most of my life in US. My husband is Swedish. We speak English at home. I know many many people with bi- and tri- lingual kids, and a couple of a 4-lingual kid. My advice: go for all of them, and hope that enough of them stick. Above all, don't stress over it too much. Let me address your ...


10

Yes and no: yes an infant cries in several distinct ways to tell you what's wrong, yes the phenomenon ends after some months, no I don't think those 5 "words" (as per your Wikipedia link) are international or even noticeable. I had not heard of the Dunstan theory before, and I don't recognise the words stated on the website. But I swear that while my son ...


10

It sounds like your baby is right where she needs to be. Normal babies start reaching language milestones at a fairly wide range of ages. Some babies may hit some milestones early, and others late. You may have reason for concern if your child misses several milestones, but it doesn't sound like that is the case with your daughter. The language ...


10

No, a child will not teach themselves to develop a new "language" to express themselves, at least not by any generally accepted definition of the term "language". Language is a complex tool used by multiple people or a community. A single child who is never exposed to verbal language does not make up their own... what would be the point if no one ...


10

Based on the information from this site children are usually able to answer simple questions (like the example you have given) by the time they reach 3. At 2.5 years most children are able to answer most yes/no questions. You can also find hints how to improve your child's answering skills. Remember that each child is different. One may start doing ...


10

If you say dadadadada and she repeats it, she is parroting. If she sees her dada and says "dada", then she is talking. Basically, talking is saying something that reflects a shared reality. Children parrot before they talk. Her first word will be when she says something appropriate (usually a noun) spontaneously. Bye (if she's leaving someone), dada when ...


9

I live in Australia. My wife came to Australia 12 years ago from China. I can speak fluent Chinese. My 4 year old son goes to childcare 4 days a week and my parents look after him 1 day a week. So Monday to Friday during the day he speaks English. Here is how we help him to learn: Be consistent: He already spends plenty of time speaking English at school ...


9

Before you read a book, put a pin on a world map for where the author is from and/or the setting of the story. Then explain to your child that different people from different places speak and write differently. Without distracting their reading too much, mention phrases/idioms, animals, spelling, architecture, etc. that is unique to that author or story ...


9

Repetition, repetition, repetition. At 14 months she's still soaking up the nuances of the languages, she won't really get a good grasp on using them herself for another 4-5 months honestly. Keep exposing her like you're doing, use positive reinforcement - and try making it into a game. We did this with Matthias at that age, encouraging him to interact ...


9

You should repeat his sentence but with the correct form of the word. When he says "A boon!" you could say "Yes, a balloon!". Children learn by copying, and this way you're not criticising you're just joining in a conversation and having fun. http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Yourchildsspeech.aspx If your child is trying to make a word but ...


8

Yes. Sorry to take the opposing view @Torben - but our three definitely copied the noises we made. In our case this meant they all said Mummy waaaaay earlier than Daddy (as I was working away a lot so saying my name was a bit irrelevant to them) If I remember correctly, the first proper words (used correctly) from our eldest were Mummy and No It did make ...


8

This is an amazing TED Talk on how language is acquired. The researcher recorded about 10 hours/day of audio and video (about 200TB) from the moment his son came home to age 3, focusing on the first 2 years. He (and his colleagues) mapped all of the words his son heard during that time and then chronologically mapped the audio and visual for each of the 503 ...


8

Any exposure to another language is great for children. With my sample space of two children, my daughter (now ten) was raised bi-lingual and is years ahead in both languages (school-wise) even though she has limited exposure to her second language. My son (3.5) primarily speaks and thinks in his second language but can swap to English very quickly. He, ...


8

This is the "forbidden experiment"-- linguist wish they new more about this because it has implications for other questions. But doing this to children is barbaric child abuse. So we wait for natural experiments to arise. The best documented ones are the ones Beofett covered, so I won't repeat that part. The cases of feral children and children locked up ...



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