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RE: A Battle of Languages-- Raising Bilingual Children

in #parenting7 years ago

Very interesting to read these challenges.
I am from Belgium (Dutch speaking part) and my fiancé is Polish and we will be parents for the first time in March. And we have the goal to raise our child bilingual (Dutch & Polish), while living in the French-speaking part of Belgium.
Our first focus will be not to speak English anymore, while we learn the child the first two languages. French will follow in school and English will come in its life as well at some point.
It is running a lot on my mind how we will manage this as my fiancé and I will also have to teach our languages to each other as well at the same time.

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Wow! I can't believe you found this post. I thought it was buried in the past:).

From my experience, time spent talking with your child in your native language is the most important thing, and also providing your child with time and experiences where he/she has to use that language. I'm finding, as my son gets bigger, time abroad or with other English speakers is very important.

I've heard about people assigning each day or two a different language and having that work, but that's not something I've been able to try in my house. I think if you and your wife speak to your child in your native language, and speak to each other in English in front of your child, he/she will naturally learn those three languages and then French from his/her outside environment.

Just talk, talk, talk and don't worry about whether your child is getting confused or not. He/she will figure it out.

Hi, sorry for the late reaction. I kinda lost track for a bit :D

My fiancé and I here from everybody that the more languages a child hears, the better. The child will absorb it like a sponge. So we will go for that. :)
Thanks for the tips!

They will definitely learn them. Getting them to speak the language, I am finding, can be tricky. My son is 5 now and recently he has been speaking English with me les and less. I think he has marked as bilingual and has been choosing the language that comes esaiest to him.

I’m very torn about whether I should be patient with him and let him ride out this phase or be strict and demand that he use English with me. I’m leaning toward the latter.

Creating a context and reason for children to use a language seems important. At least, until they get older and develop motivation to study a language on their own.

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