91

All you can do is teach your own child. It is never too early to learn that not everyone believes the same stuff, or even agrees on good behaviour. Your son will already have learnt those words at school so don't worry to much on that front. I would start with "I am glad you weren't joining in with teaching that toddler those nasty words, that wasn'...


89

Yes, I do have another idea. Most sources agree that immersion is the best way to really learn a language. So bringing your son to a school where English is the primary language is a good start. Dedicated lessons at home sound somewhat superfluous and I can see why your son resists. You are in the rare position of being able to teach English as a (...


81

At most ages your best bet is to agree that it is a kitty, as they are the same - but stress that it is a big kitty; the lion kind of kitty. It is a much more positive learning experience to be able to say "Yes" with some clarifications, rather than "No." 18 months is a bit on the young side of understanding, but if she can see that it is a kitty then she ...


55

First, please know that I agree 100% with @David Hedlund's answer in its entirety. I just want to address one particular point that needs to be stressed. His teacher says if this type of behavior continues, his language base will be weak and create problems for him in upcoming years. Language skills aren't weak because a preschooler can't/won't write ...


54

Overextension is normal Overextension and related phenomena (including the opposite, underextension) are very common, even expected phases in language acquisition. Some children call all four-legged animals "dogs" for a period, while others reject the idea that a chihuahua and a German Shepherd are both "dogs". As a child, I thought that &...


53

To forewarn you, some of this is going to be my own views, and they seem to differ from yours. Swearing isn't a problem by itself If I stand in an empty room and shout obscenities and no one can hear, does it matter? No. Offense is in the mind of the listener If I say a word in your language which I don't understand, it is not offensive until you hear ...


50

You probably need to get started on English exposure soon. At some point he wants to play with other kids and unless you live in a French speaking enclave, that will happen in English. I suggest moving either daycare, or cartoons, or some TV/audio-books to English. I wouldn't worry too much about overloading your child: young kids have a remarkable ability ...


45

is this approach going to help her build connection with a basic vocabulary Yes should I try to broaden it as much as I can and as soon as I can? Yes. Progress the Russian and English vocabulary at the same pace and at whatever pace feels "natural". First of all, it's great that you are trying raise a bilingual child. This will be a great ...


43

My approach to pronunciation issues is simple: pronounce them correctly myself, but only correct my children when it's relevant (meaning, if they're saying something that's actually a different word, or otherwise confusing). She'll eventually pick up the proper pronunciation from you. The only reason I'd do otherwise was if she were a little bit older and ...


41

Having been in a similar family position (as the child) half a century ago, it's possible he's a bit possessive of his mother, and associates your English with losing her full attention and regard. In other words, the root of this issue may not be the language itself. In my case, I believe I got over it once grade school rather than the home became my main ...


31

Your child is apparently distressed by writing tasks. We don't know why just now, so I would back away from writing for now, to alleviate tensions surrounding that activity at this point, and I think you should ask your teacher to help you in that regard. You are not likely to see much progress in writing as long as your child has an aversion to it, and ...


30

If you want a child to be truly bilingual, you have to start with both languages at the very beginning. The important thing is the separation of languages. This can be accomplished in multiple ways. The two most common are: OPOL - "one parent one language" - instead of the parent, any person with significant presence in the child's life works as well, such ...


27

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 ...


27

You could ask him to help you learn Japanese better. In order to explain things to you, he will have to speak some English, while at the same time the potential reward of you speaking more Japanese with him might be a more powerful motivation. (Additionally, this provides him with an opportunity to understand learning from the other side)


26

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 ...


20

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? ...


18

This answer is only from my personal experience raised in an only-French-speaking home/family/extended family living in the US. My father and mother both had a lot of siblings, and I had lots of French speaking aunts, uncles and cousins. As I stated in comments above, I spoke only French until my first day of kindergarten (English only). The only two ...


16

I can give you a few data points. The first one is my son, to whom I spoke French since he was born. I am French, we lived in another country at that time, but I knew we would be back in France (and I love my language). He simply refused to talk to me in French. I saw that he understood but did not answer in French but in the language of the country we were ...


16

I think you might be overreacting. As an French-speaking American, I can guarantee most non-French speaking Americans can't pronounce battu (and many other words) correctly, either. It's performing the step correctly that counts in the dance, not the way it's pronounced. As someone who only spoke Québécois until entering kindergarten, please allow her to ...


14

You know your kid best. I personally vote for trust every time, because it was a big deal to ME when I was a kid when my parents trusted me enough to confide something like this in me. "I know you are mature enough not to use this word in your everyday language, so I'll tell you what it is and why people use it, and why we choose NOT to use it." Also, you ...


14

The child needs incentive to learn. Only speak English and have great quality time with him. Go out together, cook together, have a hobby together, just make sure you're doing it together and only speak English when you do. The real world is better than sitting and flash cards, but you may find word games are also great after being able to speak the language ...


14

My oldest sister used to be a primary school teacher for very disadvantaged children in a very rough area. She saw it as part of her job to teach them to be - umm - less rough. So often these children would curse like fishwives. If she said "We don't say that", they'd say, "But my dad always calls my mum that". So she learnt to say, "That's not nice. We don'...


14

I think you are in danger of already having left this too late. Children learn language by making sense of what they hear before they start to speak at all. To be truly bilingual, and "accent-free", they need to hear both languages from a very early age. If your child has been isolated from native English, he may well become a very fluent English speaker, ...


14

If your child is 3.5, this is a bit young to learn to write. You could look at the Montessori way of learning how to write. They first do a lot of hand exercise (fine motor skills). Then they use their finger and touch sand paper letters. Then they write with their finger on sand. They do a lot of drawing, drawing inside the lines. And only after doing a lot ...


13

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 ...


13

There is no harm in broadening the second language (e.g., Russian) vocabulary. Numerous studies have shown that bilingual and monolingual children have similar overall vocabulary sizes (see, for example, De Houwer et al (2014), and Pino Escobar et al (2018)). REFERENCES: [...] our study finds no evidence of consistent differences between young bilinguals’ ...


12

My experience tells me you should both speak your native tongue at home, and you can throw in some English along the way just for variety. You know how you can tell Chinese from Spanish, even if you speak neither? Children up to at least 7 years of age are incredibly good at telling languages apart - even languages they don't speak. Children can learn a ...


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 ...


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