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Shay
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello,

My husband and I were both born in the US but we are comfortable in conversational Mandarin since our parents raised us in a Mandarin speaking environment. We recently had a baby and I've been speaking to her only in Mandarin (he has as well when he's home with smatterings of English) and it's important to us both that she can learn the language. We've also been trying to practice speaking Mandarin to one another (though not perfect, we're more comfortable in English).

My dilemma is that I am considering returning to work when she is close to 5 months old. I worry that if we have a caretaker or daycare that is English only and she only hears Mandarin at home when I come back from work and weekends, it's not enough for her to learn the language, since the site says that 30% of her waking hours should be immersion. Sadly, we don't have any family or grandparents around that can speak to her all the time.

What are some things I can do to ensure that she can still learn it and be fluent -- or is it best if I stay at home?

We also considered a nanny that speaks a third language, but we also worry another language that is not familiar to my husband or me might not have added benefit. Does anybody have any thoughts?

Thank you for your help!

Hayato
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Shay, 

Seeing your post, I wanted to commend. 

Q: What are some things I can do to ensure that she can still learn it and be fluent -- or is it best if I stay at home?
A: If financial means can be met, staying at home is always best not only for the language exposure's sake, but more for the emotional control you can gain regarding your child's language exposure. This is personal opinion. 

Q: another language that is not familiar to my husband or me might not have added benefit.
A: This would depend on what benefits you are seeking. If seeking another language exposure purely for the sake of linguistic and cultural exposure, a third language would have its benefits. However, if that is not a priority and your focus is purely to have English and Mandarin exposure, then of course, it would not be of benefit. It would come back to the root cause of why you want your child to be multilingual. Is it purely for verbal correspondence capabilities? Or is it more than that, such as to grow them in their cultural awareness to be better global citizens? 
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