I have a nephew who is taught both English and Kartuli in school, and speaks both well. He also speaks pretty good Russian, but has no formal education and does not speak much to his family in the language. This doesn't mean that he doesn't speak it at all at home, or that it goes unheard...but it is not a primary language spoken in the house or between friends.
He learns the language because the cartoon programming on TV in his country is not translated to his native language, and instead is broadcast in Russian. From my understanding, this is his only source of the language besides a few interactions with strangers who might speak Russian.
I have heard many times on here and elsewhere that children wont learn a new language based on audio and video alone, that they need physical interaction from other speakers of the language to really learn it. This is where I am somewhat confused.
While we will be teaching my son English and Kartuli, I would love to have him speak Spanish as well. I know there is plenty of Spanish programming available in the US, just as Russian is in Eastern Europe. Also, I assume that he will encounter quite a bit of residual Spanish outside of the household due to a large Spanish speaking population in the US -- Similar to how his cousin's household doesn't speak Russian, but there are many Russian speaking people in his country.
So, I am wondering if there would be any actual benefit of allowing my son to watch Spanish language programming once he reaches an appropriate age. Would there be any consequences of mandating that the programming be Spanish only?
I would try to speak the language with him, and better my vocabulary. As it stands, both my wife and I do speak basic conversational Spanish, but I do not see it being spoken at home due to us focusing on the other languages.
I have found some very interesting answers on this site, and links to great references. I am hoping someone can shed some light on this theory for me, so I can reconsider before I do any damage ;)