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dany
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello parents,

I’m the mother of a 3 months little boy and I would like my baby be able to speak 4 languages. My husband is Italian and he can speak fluently English. I’m Romanian and I can speak fluently Italian and French, and also some English and other languages I don’t consider important for the moment for my baby. I would like my baby can speak 4 languages but I’m afraid my method is not good because for the moment we haven’t the possibility for an OPOL system for all 4 languages. So, he spends most of the time with us or other Italian people. For the moment, most of the time we speak to him and to each other in Italian, in the afternoon for 1-2h I speak to him in French and also my husband try to collaborate with us in French, in the late afternoon my husband speaks to him English and I try to collaborate with them speaking English, after they watch some movies in English. In the evening I speak with him Romanian. Of course, it’s not a 30% exposure at the 3 minority languages and we don’t have for the moment nanny, au pair or foreign parents or friends here in Italy… and of course he’s only 3 moths old so everything can change if he sleeps or other baby needs [smile] I don’t know if I confuse him because we don’t have possibility to expose him to other native speakers of French, English or especially because I speak to him also other languages than mine. On the other hand not to expose him at French and English will make me very sad because I grew up in a monolingual family. I thought also to change look when I speak foreign languages with him (like a clown or something like that, to transform learning foreign languages in a play) Thank you for advices.

Lisa
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Dany,

I don't have expert advice for you as my first child is only 8 months, but I just wanted to applaud your ambition and your inventive ideas such as dressing up as a French speaking clown! Made me laugh, it sounds like a very fun idea if you like dressing up, why not! I don't know where in Italy you live, but if you're in a city, try putting up an ad on conversationexchange.com. You can easily make French and English speaking friends through that site.

Also, it sounds to me that you could stop speaking to him in Italian, since he's anyway getting the Italian language from his father and the community. I would speak only Romanian to him if I were you, except maybe through your French clown play lessons and English family sessions.

Best wishes!
Dany
Reply with quote  #3 

Hello Lisa,

I’m so glad finally someone answer me. Thank you for your advises, I will try with conversationexchange. So my baby is “bigger” now, almost 1 year, and some months ago we “improved” our system: I speak with him almost all the time Romanian, only when we are with daddy or Italian people (maybe it’s a mistake, but I don’t want to create strange situations in family…); of course he and daddy, Italian; we transformed our leaving room in an English speaking room, and in the afternoon in the park I speak with him French (not too much because he likes to sleep in the nature[smile]. In 1 year we will know if this project can work, or not. Thank you again and I always wait news and advises from other parents.

Dany

Dany
Reply with quote  #4 

Hello everybody,

I write again in this forum because I have a new question in the end of this message if someone may answer me. So my baby is a big boy now, he’s 2 years and half and when he was 10 months we establish since today this method: I speak with him only Romanian except when we go to the park when I speak French, daddy speaks Italian all the time except when they are in the living-room where he speaks English. At 16-17 months he started with Romanian, few words. At 19 m. he went 3-4 hours x day in a playground (Italian and 1 hour English, we ask them since they are not Italian to speak with him only English but the other parents want more Italian then English) and he abandoned Romanian for Italian. Around 2 years he could say a lot of words in Italian and some in Romanian (very correct pronunciation). At 2 y. and 2 m. he had an explosion so he can speak fluently Italian and everybody asks if he is 3 or more years old and he become very conscious about our language system because he corrects us if we don’t speak French or English but he always answer us only in Italian. I was a little afraid to push him to answer Romanian or French, because once I tried and for some days he didn’t speak any more with me, so I always answer him translating his words in Ro or Fr. and after I gave my answer. But at 2y and 4 he started to interact a lot in the 3 other languages repeating some parts of our sentences “Perché (it Why) la pluie tombe (Fr the rain is falling)?” with very good pronunciation in every language. But 2 weeks ago when he wants to ask something not in It, he is stopping a lot after every word and he is often stuttering. So I am a little worried because we pushed him a lot but I never order him to answer Ro or Fr, it was a very gentle approach. Any ideas about stuttering in second language?

Tanks,

Dany

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