Raising Bilingual Kids

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by TruthSeeker, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    How can I teach my 1-year old two languages (mine and his mother's)?

    Does anyone know any studies about the subject?
     
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  3. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    Talk to it in both languages.
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    If you speak both languages in his presence, there is no way he could not learn them.
     
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  7. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    In canada, your child would be trilingual if you taught him brazilian as well as his native languages, yes?

    A problem, I imagine, is that I doubt your wife or anyone else around you speaks brazilian, therefore it will not be as easy to learn that language. You will have to make a concerted effort to teach it rather than simply expecting it to happen naturally.
     
  8. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    They speak Portuguese in Brazil, and it's actually reasonably popular.
     
  9. Zardozi Isvara.... . 1S Evil_Lau Registered Senior Member

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    I agree with Sam. My study of the observation of self has showed that I learned a fluent indian dialect from it being spoken at home, and I learned english through the education system along with 6yrs of spanish. i dont know if your 1 yr old will roll his "rr'S" with flutter though.

    Masti Nam,
    Zardozi
     
  10. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. But I called it Brazilian because there is bound to be certain slang terms that exist in Brazil which would elicit only a 'huh?' in Portugal. In fact, I recall asking Jaded Flower to translate a Sepultura song for me and she had a bit of investigative work to do so despite being Portuguese.

    What do you mean by 'popular'? Among Canadians?
     
  11. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

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    All you can really do is speak to the child in two languages. For a while when your child starts to speak, he will confuse them and speak both in the same sentances. This is normal... it fixes itself after a short while.
     
  12. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    I've heard there's a decent sized Portuguese population in Victoria.

    Also you're right, Brazilian Portuguese is more archaic and contains some native Indian words.
     
  13. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

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    my lady's cousin is an example of how this works....

    the mother speaks russian to him, and the father speaks dutch.
    the kid speaks both very well.

    *note: the mother NEVER speaks dutch to the child. keep the two languages seperate.
     
  14. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Lot's of them, actually...

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  15. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    One of my friends said that you should only try to teach the two languages once they start speaking. Before then, it is not going to do much. Which might be true since he is much more focused in doing physical things right now, as opposed to trying to learn the whole language...

    Huuumm.... I dunno. It seems that right now, everyone around my son is speaking english. Then once in a while I start speaking portuguese with him. It's really hard to teach him a language that nobody else speaks around him. English is already challenging for him, so maybe the argument that you should wait a little bit is valid?



    :shrug:
     
  16. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

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    A child learns language well before they even start trying to speak. I mean really, do you think they are brain dead for a year and not learning a thing?
     
  17. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    he is barely 1 year old. He is not supposed to be fluent. My son only speaks two words right now. Äiti and kakka.

    My four year old stepson has learned English pretty dam well by talking it to me and living in the US for a while. But he only started at 2.5 years. Now he is learning Dutch because that is what I speak to the 1 year old when I don't slip back into English.

    Of course the mother speaks Finnish to them.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    In the speech of Rio de Janeiro and many other regions of Brazil, which is what we Americans hear in pop songs, R is not flapped and trilled like the Spanish and Italian R. It is an uvular, gargled sound, like the German or Parisian French R. We identify the flapped R as European Portuguese.
     
  19. Athelwulf Rest in peace Kurt... Registered Senior Member

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    That's pertinent to what I was gonna mention.

    Learning to understand language X should be simple enough for a child — or as simple as the language-learning process goes, at least. But if you want your child to actively use the language, you're gonna have to do some creative work.

    The language-learning process is hard for all people — even toddlers, despite the common misconception. Because it's hard, they won't want to do it. And, as with most things, if they know they can get away with not learning to speak a language, they won't.

    Imagine you live in a place where the most common language is X, but your mother only speaks Y to you, and she's also the only person you commonly interact with who speaks Y. Because you need to interact with others in the community, you learn X, and because you need to interact with your mother, you learn Y. But because you only need Y for one person and thus don't use it as much as X, you're less fluent in it than you are in X. If you find out one day that your mother actually knows X quite well, will you really want to keep using Y? Unless you specifically wanted to retain it and were committed to doing so, you wouldn't speak it anymore. Even if your mother refused to speak X to you, you would refuse to speak Y because you know you could get away with not expending the effort.

    So TruthSeeker, if you want your child to learn to speak a certain language — I'm guessing you mean Portuguese — they have to often be in situations where they can't reasonably get away with simply using English. Make friends with people who only speak Portuguese, or even ones who can speak English as well but only poorly. Or let them live with their Portuguese grandmother back in Brazil every so often. The child should be immersed in the language often and consistently.

    Another good tip I know of that's also related to TDI's note is this: Whichever language a parent chooses to use to talk to their child, they should stick to it! While they're young and still learning the bulk of the language, always always always use that one language you choose, always. While a child is learning their native language(s), they grow to trust that a given parent will only ever speak one given language to them. They'll even grow to rely on this. If you switch, they will experience undue stress. I think it might be alright to start switching by the time they're preteens, but don't quote me on that.
     
  20. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

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    one of the things i hate about my childhood (looking back), is that my guardians never exposed me to new languages.

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  21. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    That's not what I said.
     
  22. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

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    Well what you said seems to have implied that teaching them language before they even start speaking is pointless. I disagree.
     
  23. akasha1 Registered Senior Member

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    hi guys

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    im in school and dont have much time to read everything that was written, so sorry if i repeat someone.

    because i want to raise my kids bilingual aswel, and as the devil inside allready said, my cousin in raised like that now too... i did some research about that a time ago.
    here is what i remember from it:
    - the kids dont get any more intelligent because of that
    - in most cases the child will develop a dominant language and a secondairy language where he will be less strong at. for example, my cousing speaks fluent Dutch, but when he speaks Russian, he will mix it with Dutch words
    - in contrary to what most people think, children who are raised in 2 or more languages do not start speaking later

    i would say just go for it! and yes, consistency is usually the key to succes

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    btw, i was gone for a while and im ultra happy that we have this subforum now, its old news for you guys, but yaaaaaaaaay

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