Raising your children in a bi/multi-lingual household?

  1. I really hate family members who have no children and have no clue who like to butt their noses into the way we want to raise our child.

    How many of your children are being raised / were raised in a bi- or mulit-lingual household?

    I was raised in a house that spoke German & English. Bart and I decided early on in our pregnancy that we would like Julia to grow up in a home where both German & English are spoken. We may introduce French or Flemish later on, but we are sticking with German & English since both of our families speak those languages.

    We're starting now by singing songs in both German & English and pointing at objects and saying the word in either language or both.

    My grandmother's sister (my great aunt) gave us a bit of hell about this in the 3 days that she was here this weekend. She said it's not good for us to say things in 2 languages because it will confuse the baby and because she won't be able to speak correctly when she does start speaking in sentences. Bart and I know that this is BS since I was raised in a bilingual household and he was raised in a trilingual household.

    So, just wondering how many of you are raising/ have raised your children in bi/multi lingual households? :smile:
  2. Melanie, don't take her advice! What you're doing is correct and what YOU feel is best for your child. I'm trying to get DH to brush up on his French and German so we can do the same thing.
  3. Ah, I know she's wrong...I just can't stop letting her get under my skin! Just wish she would keep her mouth shut and her comments to herself! :cursing:
  4. My sister and I were raised in a tri-lingual household and we both speak, read and write all three languages perfectly well! As children, even though we learned words in all three languages, we could differentiate amongst them and speak in a certain language exclusively if we were asked to do so or were in a setting where only one language was understood. It certainly did not confuse us!
  5. Didn't confuse my husband or I either! We knew when to speak what, so I don't really understand where the whole "the kid will be confused!!!" thing is coming from
  6. It is actually great for a child's development to learn more than one language at an early age. Don't listen to your great aunt, she doesn't know what she's talking about!

    Maybe you can do some searching on the internet and pass along articles to her so she will relax.
  7. I think it's AWESOME and of course it doesn't harm a child's development.
  8. I think it's awesome. I was raised completely bilingual. My son is not - he had speech difficulties when younger and it was recommended that we speak to him in one language, so he only speaks English. (This recommendation came because he was having obvious difficulties with even one language, and he did not speak articulately until he was about 4+)
  9. As an educator who studied and suppors bilingual education (and worked in a bilingual school) I know that there are many studies out there that refutes what your relative is saying. Early exposure is better than late.

    Aside from saying the words in two languages something else you can do (when Julia is older) is label different items in your home with its english name and its german name. Buying books written in both languages will help as well.

    I think what you are doing is fabulous and in my house we talk to my daughter in Ilocano, Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish (not complete sentences, but use different words from each language).
    Oh, and my dog is bilingual as well--she gets a lot of words in Spanish from me.
  10. WHAT?! I was raised in a bilingual household and I was not confused. OMG what and ignorant thing for her to say! Good for you for teaching your daughter 2 languages. She will thank you for it one day!
  11. Old bitties LOVE to give their two cents, God knows my grandmother does...:rolleyes:. Don't let it get to you, you know you are doing the right thing :noworry:!
  12. Hi

    My hubbie is Dutch so we started with our son. However at almost age 4 he couldn't talk at all! He was due to start school nursery and they wouldnt take him as he couldn't speak English. we had to take him to Speech Therapy who advised us to stop and make sure he could speak one language to start with. We stopped Dutch and 6 weeks later he was fluent in English. Its only now that we are starting to pick it up again and he is 7
  13. don't worry in the slightest! i don't have children but i was raised bilingual (finnish and swedish, i only started learning english when i was 9 or so) and without exception the people i know who have the best linguistic competence were raised speaking more than one language.
  14. I think it's wonderful to teach a child all of the languages in their heritage. I'm part German, and the language died when my grandmother died, as she didn't pass it on to my mom. My husband speaks Kreyol and French, and my daughter (who'll be 4yrs old next month) not only understands all of them, she spoke clear English at 2yrs old and is beginning to read now. Teaching multiple languages to her hasn't been a hindrance to her development. I also teach her Spanish (but I'm only about 70% fluent). I don't agree at all that it confuses a child. Childhood is the time when it's easiest to teach a child multiple languages. The rapid brain development supports it, and if they hear multiple languages all along, why would it be confusing???
    One thing I do find interesting is that my daughter has my husband's accent when speaking English, and he is the only person she hears on a daily basis with an accent.