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Reply with quote  #1 

My daughter is 15 months and she started to speak dutch words a few months ago. She has an active vocabulary of around 20 words now. In august will she start at daycare where they speak swedish. Isn't it confusing for her while we say a dutch word and at school they say a swedish word for the same thing? What is the experience of other parents? Are the kids getting frustrated, do they stop speaking? Or do they just accept and keep on learning? What's a 'normal' reaction for a child of 15/16 months?


Reply with quote  #2 
Hello. My daughter began preschool at age 3.5.  Before that she was home with me, or my parents speaking and hearing primarily Latvian.  Her father speaks and has spoken only English to her (though he does know a few Latvian words), and of course there is the TV, errands to the bank and all which she observed occurring in English, although we speak proudly wherever we are.  Starting school for her was very hard. Partially this was due to her very close ties with her home and with family, the separation was not easy.  I do earnestly believe the language/culture had something to do with this, too.  She was suddenly in an all English environment, and I know when she began her comprehension was more limited.  With the experience itself, she has learned much and her English rapidly and easily picked up.  In observing her, she nods but does not let on if she doesn't understand something.  The environment was different, but linguistics, I believe, certainly played a part in this.  She began in early fall, and in March, her teacher finally said to me, "She has finally joined our class." I think, for your young child, it will be less confusing.  She is not so established (and let's face it, three years old is not so established either, but more so than 15 months.).  I honestly feel that your child's transition should go smoother, due to her being so young.  However, depending upon the time she spends in daycare, it probably will have some effect on her Dutch in the long run.  In the book Growing up with Three Languages, the author examines how being bilingual is really not a black and white issue, but is more so of degrees.  It made a lot of sense to me.  And another point, your child is 15 months old, however you choose to proceed will be "normal" for her! Good luck.
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