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Old 01-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #11
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

Thank you ladies, I really appreciate all of your input - definitely makes me feel better! It is so easy to get bogged down in all the info there is to read about milestones, etc. and to compare with others whose little ones are talking already.

To the gal who was asking about getting her lo to use Spanish...I think that varies from kid to kid, from what I've heard. If she spends the most time with the English speaker, she will likely (but not necessarily) use English. My understanding is that the important thing about you DH speaking Spanish with her is that she is building those 'networks' in her brain - so the framework is there and it will always be there. As soon as she's immersed in Spanish ( a long trip to DHs homeland, etc.) she will use it. Otherwise she may just keep it inside for future reference. HTH!

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Old 01-14-2007, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

At 2.5 my cousin was only speaking in English, but seemed very delayed also. Her mother spoke to her only in English and the Father in Spanish, He also thought she wasn't learning to understand him in Spanish. By three she suddenly got much more verbal, and when getting a haircut the woman cutting asked her a question, My aunt said, "Oh she only speaks English" to which my cousin said "No I don't" in spanish. SHe understood everthing in both languages, just hadn't got it together in both to speak well.
Her brother was translating for me by 3.5, I used to take him shopping with me, and ask what things were called in Spanish, it was so funny, shop keepers in the village found it very amusing.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:26 PM   #13
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

I wouldn't say nederlands is very close to english at all, so up until a certain point there is bound to be a bit of confusion. Hey I married a dutchman, but a unusual one that doesn't want to teach his kids dutch, it isn't the most useful of launagues now is it? I'm sure he's bound to learn something, as his father has to speak it to his grandmother, but my DH would rather teach him german and french, go figure!

I wouldn't worry and don't put to much pressure on it. Some people are good at languages and some aren't.

And if you ever feel the need to complain about dutchmen, well PM me.....

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Old 01-16-2007, 05:30 AM   #14
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

i havent had a 2 year old, so i dont know.. but one of my friend's baby was born here in us and her parents always talked to him in tagalog.. i dont know his exact age but he understood tagalog, could say little phrases and words in tagalog, he only understood english and couldnt say it.. when he went to school, he learned english very quickly.. he didnt forget tagalog also, he would talk english when spoken to in english and same in tagalog..

i think it's better to just teach the other language, because when they go to school they'll learn english anyway..at least that's what im doing with dd right now, my stepdad and dh is still speaking to her in english though but she's with me most of the day so she'll learn more tagalog than english..
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:44 AM   #15
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

Hi Leidi!!
We are a bilingual household as well.
Our 6 yr old was referred to speech therapy when she was 18 months old.
She was talking, but not as much as the dr wanted.

She was FINE! The therapist played a few games with her and told me that I have a very smart child and not to listen to the dr when they worry. And with a multilingual household the children are slightly delayed in the beginning but are better off in the long run.

For the PP about how to get the children to interact with your DH in Spanish more. My hubby speaks only Spanish to the kids. I speak mainly English to them. When our older DD was young, he would pretend like he didn't understand if she answered him in English. It sounds kind of mean, but it helped to set the rules in the house. We are trying to raise children who are able to speak, write and read in each language. The only way to do that is to make sure they are using both languages fully.

When DD was still at home with me, we let her watch TV/videos, listen to music, etc (90% of the time in Spanish - check the library for great resources)

HTH
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:25 AM   #16
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

Thanks again ladies. And Abby - too funny. Dutchmen are certainly a rare breed aren't they.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:59 AM   #17
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

My nieces are bilingual in English and Dutch, too -- my BIL is from Aruba. Yes, they spoke a bit later.

Jennifer, what happens if your DH offers your DD a treat in Spanish? That might help figure it out -- my 4 y.o. had very selective hearing for quite some time -- a great way to get away with stuff!
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:12 PM   #18
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Re: Bilingual household & language development in toddler

We are a tr-lingual family (English, Spanish, Russian) and my 21 months old DD is definitely not talking as much as most of her peers, but we are not worried. I'm pretty sure that once she starts to really talk we won't know how to make her stop Her vocabulary may be limited but she is using all three languages. I imagine if I had to learn 3 languages all at once I'd be a little slow too in the beginning.
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