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tom
Reply with quote  #1 
Hey

We are living in a small town in Sweden and as you guessed, people here mainly speak Swedish. I would like to speak English to our baby, who will be born in upcoming weeks and my fiance would speak Swedish to him. I studied in the u.s. for four years and I have tried to keep up with the language since. So I am not native speaker but I feel like my vocabulary and grammar is good enough to do this, and I know it would get better everyday if I would use it with him and started to "think" more in English.

English is taught very well here in schools but I am fascinated by the language and I would like to pass it to my own son at early age. That would probably give him courage to study/work abroad and give him better chance at learning other languages as well.

This would bring awkward moments at start and some close minded people would probably laugh at it, but at the end I feel that it would be advantage to my son.

Has anyone else been in same kind of situation and have had the courage to speak foreign language to your child?

Did you use OPOL to the end or did you for example switch to the language spoken around your environment if other people where around? I mean for example kids birthdays where you know the people around you and their children and parents don't speak English in this case.
Santiago
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Tom,

My son was born a month ago and ever since I have spoken to him only in English. Right now he's too little and it's too soon to see the resutls, but it feels great to pass on my English knowledge to him. I live in a Spanish speaking country. I haven't found any resistance from anyone yet. As I''m a linguist, some people are expecting me to talk to him in a foreign language and even ask me. It doesn't feel awkward to me to talk to him in English at this point, but it just feels weird to talk to him in English in front of others outside the family. I need to figure out how to do it naturally. Right now, since he's really small, we haven't gone out much with him, so I don't know the real feel of that.
For now, I'm using OPOL. We'll see how everything develops in the future. I think it is a great idea and I encourage you to do it. Please let me know how it goes when the baby is born and whatever you decide. Congrats on your new baby!

Regards,

Santiago
tom
Reply with quote  #3 
Hey

It's been now almost four months since our boy was born and I have been speaking English with him. It is funny, but if I try starting a sentence in swedish I switch back to english automatically, because it feels easier with him [smile] I get more confident speaking english around people outside family every time I speak to him, but I am still little bit more quiet around my boy when there are people that I don't know around me. I think the best thing is just speak speak speak, then you will get in situations where you need to explain it and then eventuality it gets easier.

My fiancé has been speaking about half and half english and swedish to him. Partly because I speak English to him and she wants to speak it too. I haven't said anything, because I think it will be good for the kid to hear more english. He gets enough swedish exposure so I am not bothered by it and I think when it's time to have real conversations (when he starts to move and grab things more) with the boy she will switch to swedish. I haven't talked with her about that if you speak both languages to him, he might get confused. Should I have that conversation now or does it matter at all at this point?

Tom
Santiago
Reply with quote  #4 
Hello Tom,

Sorry for not replying before. I had not visited the website for a long time. My son is 18 months now and he says a few words in both Spanish and English, but he seems to understand both languages. How is your baby doing? I don't know if you talked to your fiancee about mixing languages, but from what I've read, I believe it is best if either she sticks to one language or if she clearly sets a defined pattern in which she uses one language or the other, like one language at home and one language outside or fixed days in one or the other language. If she feels comfortable she could use 100% English since the baby will eventually learn the majority language living in the country, so if you two use English, that may increase exposure to the language and increase chances your baby is an active bilingual. I would like to hear how you are doing at this point. Also, this is my email in case you would like to contact me: santiagoestebanhh@yahoo.com.

Santiago
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