October 2, 2010

raising a bilingual toddler

harper and i had our 3rd spanish class this morning. she is really starting to catch on and understand many spanish words–especially her body parts. (la cabeza, los pies, las manos, los ojos)….these are all words that she recognizes. we sing a lot of songs in class and i still have the song about Juanito in my head!

are you teaching your child another language? are you bilingual or are you attending a formal class?

did you know that every country that outperforms the USA teaches at least two languages to children from day one? maybe we should start teaching foreign languages at elementary school level. would you be in favor of this?

here is the book/CD for our class. it is co-written by Marcela Summerville, the woman that started our spanish school.

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Categories: foreign language
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Comments (10)

  1. This is something I see a lot. I live in Wales and the main language spoken in Wales in English however a lot of people speak Welsh as their first language. Several of my friends speak Welsh and are bringing their children up bilingually. There is a strong belief that children who are bilingual and are taught through the medium of Welsh attain a higher level of education than children educated in English only schools. I don't speal Welsh (I'm ashamed to say) and my kids go to English school and are doing really well there so it's probably down to the child.
    In terms of other languages though I speak French and Spanish (though not fluently) and my brother lives in Spain and has an Argentinian partner (confused?!). She has a 4 year old boy and I taught my kids enough Spanish to speak to him whenever he visits and my daughter in particual (she is younger than my son) has retained it all. It's definitely better to get kids learning another language from as young as possible.
    Enjoy your classes!

  2. Obviously I don't speak English very well! I bet you're wondering what language 'particual' is – I meant particularly!

  3. I speak Spanish, as do my sisters and my mom, but since they live far and my hubby doesn't speak it, it is hard to be able to expose my son to the language. We listen to Spanish songs, and he knows many of his body parts in Spanish and English, but I know I am going to have to go beyond just myself to really get him to speak and understand it!

  4. Hi! I'm teaching my son English. In Barcelona, we usually speak Spanish and Catalan, and study English as a foreign language (20 or 30 years ago, our parents studied French). The French border is near and French is similar to Catalan, so it's easier for us to learn French, or even Italian.
    I think learning languages is a very useful tool to open your mind and enjoy the world.

  5. Admittedly, this is tangentially related, but if you're an iPhone or iPod touch toting parent, take a look at LunchboxReviews.Com. We have a Foreign Language section that continues to grow!

    LunchboxReviews.Com focuses on collecting, organizing and rating iPhone apps for toddlers, preschoolers and young children. We're new, so if you have any suggestions for improvement, let us know! – LunchboxReviews.Com

  6. We are a bilingual family so my daughter here's both languages on a daily basis. I do, however, want to put her in a school that does immersion teaching. I really like the idea of her learning another language more fully by actually taking a class like math in that language.

  7. Thanks for sharing this book. Neither my husband nor I are bilingual, but we' love to raise our son (currently 3 month) with exposure to Spanish from a very young age. We'll probably be researching some immersion preschools in the next year or so!

  8. the two of my three kiddos that can talk are bilingual… in fact one speaks more spainish than english! they are super smart and i think they should start teaching as soon as elementary as well. i remember wanting to learn another language but we weren't that wealthy and couldn't afford language lessons so i would try to read as much i could from books at the library but couldn't get it as well until i took spainish in high school.

  9. When my husband and I decided to have children we knew he would speak only Spanish to them and I would speak English. I know other families who have done it this way and the children did great at learning each language.
    I regret not speaking Spanish and always wish my grandmother would have passed it on.

  10. We are adopting from Ethiopia; so, I would love to keep our future child's "birth language" at the forefront for them, even if it's only very basic phrases we learn together for traveling, etc.

    I speak French and learned Latin and a little bit of conversational Japanese in college (I love languages!); so, I will definitely pass on the French.

    I completely agree with you on the importance of raising a bi-lingual child. And starting when they are young and their brains are little sponges is even better! Kudos to you for not just sending her to class either, but for going with her! What a fun activity for the two of you!

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