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62

I am a linguist (master's degree in linguistics), speak three languages fluently, and have studied a few others. I have four children, and my wife and I also have different mother-tongues - Spanish for me, English for my wife. Because one of my children had speech acquisition problems, I have done a bit of research into this topic. The bottom line is that ...


24

Your child will learn the language from you, so if you are only somewhat capable in a language, your child will also become only somewhat capable. Since your are living in an English speaking country, I would suggest you teach her English as a mother tongue as she will not be able to become fluent in your own mother tongue without an outside tutor. And such ...


24

Being parents of different "tongues" implies, in my opinion, an obligation to give your child(-ren) as much diversity as possible. I am not qualified to argue against linguists, but I see it as no different than that if you're a mechanic, odds are your kids will learn how to wield a wrench; if you're a musician, perhaps a guitar. With language, you can start ...


17

Anecdotal evidence: When I was living in Barcelona, my neighbors were a couple with a kid. The father was German, the mother was French, they talked to each other in English and the kid was going to the British School of Barcelona. At 10, the kid was fluent in Catalan, Spanish, French, German and English. Was he sometimes mixing up and making some mistakes? ...


12

I agree with Erik's answer but I'd like to add a few things. Since you seem to speak your mother tongue with your parents, they are probably fluent in it? Have them speak your mother tongue with your child, only translating into English if the child doesn't seem to understand. I know a few people who's grown up learning a second language by speaking it ...


9

So my question is, would my child be confused if I spoke Kurdish with it and Danish to my husband and my husband spoke Turkish to the child? As an adult, when I'm a 2nd language learner, I never, ever, ever, ever confuse languages. (Exceptions being Spanish and French, they are very similar, and that 5 minute warm up period when you are switching ...


7

I have limited experience, but I also remember reading about some research on this. The most frequent situation is that father and mother have different native languages and use these to communicate with the children. This works very well. The children learn both languages properly. An interesting phenomenon is that the children tend to get angry if the ...


7

If there's one thing you should be worried about it's that your daughter is put in such a class and you were apparently not even aware of it... I find it really strange. But learning a second language is best done when you're young. Living in a bilingual country (Belgium), this is actually the direction towards a lot of schools/parents are moving: bilingual ...


7

It appears that children don't learn language well from television because they need interaction and conversation. It's not so much that the "picture on a flat device [isn't] a person", but more that the child doesn't get a response when they try to talk back to the picture. In one study, when children had a conversation over Skype with an adult, they were ...


6

If you speak two languages your child may be confused but you can speak Danish and your husband Turkish. Your child will associate Danish with you and Turkish with your husband. more info with a similar problem


6

The usual advice is to use the one-person-one-language rule. You speak exclusively your mother tongue to your child, your wife does the same. You have to act like you don't understand English or your child will catch on and switch to what ever their strongest language is, probably English, if you are in an English community. Rely on the community to teach ...


5

If anything, it's not the diagnosis you should be concerned about, but the underlying condition and the specific problems it presents to the child. The sooner you have your son diagnosed, the better the chances that he can get help both to address his behavioral problems and to help him develop his extraordinary gifts. Many people are afraid of the mental ...


4

According to the abstract of this study of 60 3-year-old children: From these experiments we conclude that children have the metalinguistic skills necessary to identify homonym pairs; moreover, they realized that homonyms represent two different categories. Finally, if children have a one-to-one mapping assumption, it is not strong enough to prevent them ...


4

I have found that it comes along as I have corrected my daughter's speech over the years as well. At the age of two I'd say she's doing just fine. According to this chart, she should be barely understandable. Sounds like your child's speech is on track, although it doesn't cover when you get into present versus past tense. According to this site, your ...


4

Personally I have grown up bilingually and on top of that went to an English level school and having read in the past through research regarding bilingualism in children I think it's fair to say that it's a huge advantage in many different ways: not only does it open up more paths later on in life, but purely from a cognitive point of view it helps a lot as ...


4

English, unlike many alphabetic languages, is not written in a perfectly transparent fashion. You cannot necessarily pronounce a word correctly just by looking at it. This makes learning to read through phonics trickier than it might be in a language with stricter pronunciation rules. However, phonics are still the most effective technique for teaching ...


4

Written English is not a Phonetic language; you need to understand that before you go any further. As a result, while phonics are a useful aid to beginners in reading/comprehension, they will always be imperfect just like any shortcut. If you look at the etymological breakdown of English, it contains words which we can mostly trace back about equally to ...


3

The simplest answer is whatever works for you! It's a great opportunity to teach your child both languages and for them to be exposed to both your culture and your husband's culture. Many bilingual families have different methods which work for them. Sometimes the mother speaks one language to the child and the father speaks the other. Or both parents ...


3

A child can learn to speak two languages natively. If you are able to give the child a chance of learning both languages natively, that could be an advantage later. So if your mother tongue would be useful for your child to learn, then I would say you speak your mother tongue to the child. Since you are living in an English speaking country, you can expect ...


2

Yes, it is absolutely possible for children to learn to speak in few different languages. I have seen 5 year children learning 3 different languages effortlessly. We live in English speaking country now. I talk to my daughter in my mother tongue so my parents can speak to their grand daughter and vice versa. My daughter is fluent in speaking in 2 languages. ...


2

I don't think she'll have a problem. Our oldest was barely functional in French when he started school. This year will be his third year at the same (French, not even bilingual) school, and he's mostly fluent in both (still a bit better in English, but not by much). You'll be surprised by how quickly she absorbs it. As a side note, now's a really good time ...


2

You might also want to think about the problem in terms of opportunity costs vs. future benefits. I am a Romanian native, and looking back to my high-school years, I'm grateful that I was taught English (the world's de-facto universal language) and French, instead of Russian, which had been mandatory until a few years earlier, while my country was under a ...


2

I very strongly doubt that using multiple languages around your child will cause any damage or problems, and I strongly suspect that in the long run this will be beneficial to your child. They may be cross-lingual (for example, using some Turkish or Kurdish words when conversing in Danish) on occasion, but as they become more fluent in a particular language ...


2

There is no rule for this, and it's different with every child. My girls are both bi-lingual. I speak to them in one language, and my wife (and the environment) speak to them in another. My eldest started speaking both languages more or less together, and is happy to switch from one to the other when talking to different people. My second would only speak ...


1

As other people have said, it's hard to say without knowing your goals. You will probably want to speak to you child in your best language, even if it isn't the community language and even if it doesn't have the prestige of some other language. (You didn't say which, so I'm definitely not making a judgement on what is a more prestigious language) If you ...


1

Gradually introduce incentives focusing on his favorite things as rewards. Also translate words he uses regularly into English when he uses the Spanish version. As a child, I had to go through a similar transition and for me television played a big role. I don't know if he enjoys television, if he does dedicate some time to shows he likes that are in English ...


1

It cannot be forced. I tried and failed dismally. My daughter first learnt my wife's language then English. Once she learnt English, she would refuse to go back. Teaching a child another language is a long term process. My kids have been going to language school since the age of 6 and will continue until they achieve year 12 proficiency. I would love them ...


1

MatthewMartin's answer should work fairly well. My girlfriend grew up in a similar situation. She spoke french with her mother and mother's family, italian with her father and his family, attended a french school and lived in an english community. She actually became most fluent in English (written, spoken, and heard), fluent in french, and could understand ...



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