Friday, April 8, 2011

Bilingual home

Its hard to teach your child another language when you are the only one in your household that speaks the other language.
I am fluent in both Spanish and English.
My husband speaks just English.
My goal in life was to make my son bilingual like me.
Before he was born I thought FOR sure it was going to be easy for me to teach him.
My plan was to JUST speak spanish to him. My husband was going to try his best to understand me. Since he also wanted to learn Spanish this was a win win situation.
Then came baby to our house. I immeditaley felt strange even speaking to him.
How weird is that? I have an undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology. For me to feel this way when he came home was hard on me.
I thought that I would be so comfortable speaking to him in Spanish, and since at that time my whole family (who basically only speaks spanish at home), was around me it would be a piece of cake right?
I was very very much discouraged, and I thought at this rate he will never be bilingual and it will be all my fault.
Of course my husband only spoke english to me, and I kept telling him STOP, you need to try to speak as much spanish as you can!
Clearly I was being obsessive about this.
Slowly I felt more and more comfrotable in speaking to my child, in whatever langague came out first.
English was the easiest but then in a few months I found myself comfortable again in speaking to him in Spanish.
We are still on that bilingual journey, and so far I say I do 80% spanish and 20 % english.
Its hard, but I'm glad I am doing it.
Some tips, if you know another langauge even just a little bit I have discovered are:
1. Don't beat yourself up about it. Let a few words flow naturally and say them to your child.

2. Say the words in both languages for objects.

3. Try to focus on certain phrases you want your child to learn in the langauge your teaching him/her

Most of all children are like sponges, so I know he will learn eventually. Till the age of 5 they have the ability to learn a language like they were natives of that country, meaning the accent will be less than if you learn it later in life. that is my goal.
And hopefully the hubs will catch one or two Spanish lessons from us. :)

1 comment:

  1. That's so cool. I'm sure he'll totally appreciate it in the future. I wish I was bilingual. =)