Bilingual babies ….
I am polish mum living in UK with my English husband. It was very important to me to make sure that my baby girl speaks polish as well as she does english. I was researching a lot about the best way to bring up a child in bilingual family.
There are two very different opinions when it comes to when and how to teach your child second language.
1. You shouldn’t introduce second language until your child is 3 years old. It believes that doing it any earlier confuses the child and delays their speech development.
2. That you should introduce both (or more) languages from the very beginning.
Me and my husband have chosen to listen to the second method. From the first day that Chloe was born I have spoken to her in Polish and my Husband in English.
I must say that I am glad that we decided to do this. At 16 months Chloe understands pretty much everything that you ask her to do … both in Polish and English. Chloe can say lots of words in both of the languages as well. We can clearly see that she says much more English words around 20 compared to only 10 in polish; this is due to the fact that she is surrounded 70% of the time by english language (at the nursery, when she is being looked after by grandparents and when her dad talks to her). This doesn’t bother me at all…
I find it incredible that she can say so many words let alone being able to say it in two languages and being able to clearly understands English and Polish !!!!
We have had an amazing example of kids being bilingual at a very young age. Our friends have a 3 years old daughter who speaks 3 languages!!!! No they are not one of the pushy parents 😁 Mum is from Colubmia so she speaks Spanish, Dad is from Holland and speaks dutch, they communicate between each other in English and obviously they live in England so theirs daughter goes to the nursery in here. It’s amazing how at only 3 years old she knows who to speak to in which language and can switch between them easily in a split second !
Key is to make sure that you speak to your child in this same language at all the time (that’s why I speak to Chloe only in Polish and my husband in English). You need to talk, sing, play and reed in this language as each of those actions helps your child develop their speach in different ways.
If you have any experience or opinion please share !