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soultravelers3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello or Hola from Spain at the moment!

So glad to meet others interested in languages. We are monolingual Americans with a child fluent in Mandarin, Spanish & English.

We actually started all 3 languages while our baby was still in the womb, starting at 3 months pregnancy because that is when babies start to learn languages. Mostly we just made sure we read to her in those languages daily, were around people speaking them or listened to things in those languages as we tried to learn too.

We have been traveling the world on an open ended, non-stop  world tour since 2006, living large on just 23 dollars a day per person or 25K a year.

http://www.soultravelers3.com/

This has been a fantastic way to educate our child ( who was 5 when we began) and allow her to be deeply proficient like a native. I am going to be doing a series on all the things that we have found very useful from birth to 9 years old.

 She has learned bits of many languages, but we are focused on deep proficiency in just the top 3 universal languages as we figure she can add more later if she wishes.

We will start wintering in Asia this year so our child can immerse in an all Mandarin school as it's worked so well to really add to her proficiency at a very deep level as she learns different subjects outside of English.

Would love to meet others interested in languages and or extended travel!



soultravelers3
Reply with quote  #2 
As I read the other threads, I wanted to assure other parents raising younger bilingual or multi-lingual kids.

It IS a lot of work on the parents part. We sacrificed a lot to help our child and it is something that takes extra work for many years because children can lose languages as quickly as they learn them if not kept up. We see MANY more years of hard work ahead of us to support our child's native like proficiency in 3 languages ( speaking, reading, writing well) but glad we are doing this.

My husband ( who is not fluent or a native speaker) ONLY talked to our child in Spanish for the first 2 1/2 years. At that point, he mixed because she was so verbal at that point and he was too limited on what he could say to her as his Spanish was so limited, thus he felt it was hurting their relationship. My Spanish is so poor that I am often left out of that part of her life in depth. I took her relentlessly to Spanish only and Chinese only gatherings for baby where I was very isolated & lonely, but SHE was getting what she needed. We had friends that helped us too and ONLY watched Spanish or Chinese kids videos & listened to tons of music in Spanish & Chinese.  It is about relentless commitment and awareness for endless years.

Our resources were better for Spanish as they are plentiful in California although few parents take advantage. Parents who are native speakers are the most interested in raising bilinguals , so I found those communities.

By 15 months she realized that we were talking two different languages as she said with delight at her discovery "mama says kitchen, daddy says cosina".

We hired only native speaking Spanish help ( ONLY to help with the language) for several hours a week. The best was a woman I met at a park & I liked how she was with 2 kids she was watching. It turned out that she was a teacher in her native Columbia and the head of their bilingual program at their school. What she did when she played with my daughter is make sure that she was ALWAYS replying back to her Spanish in Spanish and not English. When she did not know how, she helped her and made her repeat it.

Language like learning an instrument ( our child also plays violin and piano from an early age) takes many years of effort on the parents part and daily practice. We did not realize HOW much until we were already committed to languages and music. BOTH have been worth it.

I know MANY cases of native speaking parents who fail to raise bilinguals even when they really want to. My brother is a perfect example as he married a woman who is from the Netherlands & her parents do not speak English well. Even though they tried to raise their child as a bilingual, it was the mothers native tongue and they visited Holland frequently, they did not succeed.

It is not for the feint of heart. It is so worth the effort and more than ever multi-lingual, multi-cultural people will have great advantages in our ever shrinking world.

This is a great resource for parents raising bilingual children

http://learninfreedom.org/languagebooks.html

I particularly liked the book by Saunders as they ( as monolinguals) raised bilingual kids in an environment with no 2nd language speakers.






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