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Old 01-13-2007, 09:25 PM   #1
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Bilingual household & language development in toddler

Any of you mamas have a bilingual household? My DH & I each speak a different language to DS (me English, him Dutch) and I expected it to take longer for DS to speak but I'm starting to worry. He's 20 months (today!) and he seems to understand a lot, and is expressive, but his language is pretty delayed. He points, etc, and is very communicative. But for actual words we only get approximations, single syllables, etc. For example, water is 'wah wah', battery is 'ba', peanut butter is 'bu' or 'buh buh', (same as bunny, etc.). He says 'coh' for corn, ca ca for cracker, 'dow' for down, 'wow' for meow, 'ca' for cat, etc. etc. He can't seem to say 'm' at all (does not say mama), or 'n', 's', 't'. He will very occasionally say 'pah pah' deliberately for papa (DH). Anyways, I could go on. But I'm just concerned about the lack of development in this area, and inability (seemingly) to say certain syllables. He's our only child so we're not experienced. He is going to be evaluated by our state's Early Intervention program (SLP) at the end of the month, but I'm just collecting info.

Thanks for reading, and for any input!

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Old 01-13-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

I TOTALLY wouldnt worry! Both of my ds' didnt start talking until about 32 months! My 16 month old is nowhere near uttering words. Many, many boys dont start talking until much later than girls. My 2nd ds did do some speech intervention, but honestly, I think he just started talking when he was ready.

The main thing is that your ds has receptive language, at this age, that is the most importang.

I would get the eval done if that would help your concerns, but it is really very common for boys especially to be late talkers!
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

i wouldn't worry abou it too much. the neighbor lives in a bilingual house and her ds is nearly 3 and hardly talks...when he does he can go back and forth between the German and English, but it's very simple things for the most part...bye bye, vovo (dog-for the sound it makes!), hello/hallo, ja/yes, nein/no, things of that nature...
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:38 AM   #4
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

my dd is 9 months old, and we live in a bilingual household also.
here's what i found

http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/a...al.html#affect
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Old 01-14-2007, 03:02 AM   #5
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

We also have a bilingual household. My dd was a late talker, but once she started we couldn't make her stop! She is a jabberbox. Bilingual babies tend to start to speak later because they are processing 2 languages. They typically choose one to be their primary language. My dd uses only English unless prompted to say something in Spanish. It drives my dh crazy. He only speaks spanish to her, but she will respond to him in english or look at him like she doesn't know what he's talking about. He feels that she is not learning from him. I know she is, but how do we get her to speak spanish too? (sorry for the hijack!)
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Old 01-14-2007, 06:58 AM   #6
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

My first wasn't very clear and was nowhere near using sentences or really...barely even 2-word phrases (like "me want" or "me go", that kind of thing)....but he hit 2yo and everything just kind of exploded...seriously. Now he won't hush I expect my 16.5 month old to be much the same. He has single-syllable word 'sounds' "ba", "dah", etc...I've heard the same thing from A LOT of mama's...after the 2nd birthday, there is a language explosion.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapeyMom View Post
We also have a bilingual household. My dd was a late talker, but once she started we couldn't make her stop! She is a jabberbox. Bilingual babies tend to start to speak later because they are processing 2 languages. They typically choose one to be their primary language. My dd uses only English unless prompted to say something in Spanish. It drives my dh crazy. He only speaks spanish to her, but she will respond to him in english or look at him like she doesn't know what he's talking about. He feels that she is not learning from him. I know she is, but how do we get her to speak spanish too? (sorry for the hijack!)
You should tell your husband not to go crazy over it. My husband speaks it to my girls and they can't speak or understand it. He's been trying since they were babies but no such luck.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

THink of it this way...in a bilingual house the 'language' the child is learning IS TWICE AS BIG!!!

It is v v v common for bilingual kids to start somewhat later, but when they do start, it usually EXPLODES.

and btw, lots of kids don't start talking till 2, even in the absence of two languages.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:16 AM   #9
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

might be the reason why david didnt talk
so i switched all to english. he JUST starting to speak but he is still delayed with sentences. he be 4 and i want him to be ready for school . he has been on EI since 18 mo. so its good youstarting soon. and yes i did worry he still cant put sentences together and he is 4 so he goes to ST.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:27 AM   #10
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

I just had my 22 mo old evaluated (we are english speaking only family) and he said about the same as your son. They said he is very typical. My ds doesn't put consonants together well, uses vowel sounds primarily so he will go in for ST but only 2x a month, and they are pushing it. Really I don't think he qualifies for treatment but my friend works there.

In addition, this is my personal feeling, but keep up with the bilingual stuff all of you! What a blessing to share two languages and cultures! And there's just extra neurons being joined and taking a little longer, but I think the ability to learn multiple languages really is a springboard for learning other complex things. Way to go!

Is there a place your child can be evaluated where you live? We have an awesome resource here that all children can be eval for free, and treated for free. But maybe your local health dept or school district can help? It doesn't hurt to go in, and it's up to you, the parent, if you should continue treatment if indicated.
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