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Tanya
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

I speak to my daughter in Russian 100% and my husband speaks to her in English. We use OPOL method. We live in US and my daughter goes to English day care.

She is starting to say words, mostly in English and some in Russian, very few. I realized she has no reason to speak Russian because I can understand what she is saying in English. Do I pretend I don't understand her? She is so excited to be able to communicate that I'm afraid I'll upset her more by "not understanding" what she is saying. What is your experience at this age?
Helena
Reply with quote  #2 
I would acknowledge that you understand what she is saying, but repeat it back to her in Russian and try to get her to say the same.  Hopefully she will get the message that you expect her to speak Russian to you.  I think that if your family language were Russian it would be easier to pretend that's all you speak but as English is spoken in your house it will be pretty obvious even to a very little child that you understand.
Helena

Daira
Reply with quote  #3 
I would agree with Helena's advice completely.  There is an expression I've heard about U.S. daycare and kindergarten being very good at swaying a child's speech phonetically and overall toward the English.  My child just completed her first official school year in such a preschool, too, but I had to work.  Luckily, we chose a preschool with a third language immersion option (her father- English, I- Latvian, school- mandarin), to sort of take away some of the English language interference and influence.  I did notice her swaying more toward the English during that school year, but now with summer, and she is not attending school, we are back to some assemblage of linguistic equality.  So, foremost, I might suggest quantity. Cheburashka (sorry, if I've misspelled) can most certainly be found on the Internet or through relatives! Not that discs make up for personal communication, but they can be a nice tool when dinner needs to be cooked, and the child gets some extra linguistic input. My child has even enjoyed the Cheburashka, because of the cute monkey and alligator, and we don't speak Russian. I do not know how busy you are, but a play group once a week or biweekly can do wonders.  If you don't know of any, you could perhaps begin one, by asking around the university, and the international European food markets, perhaps there are some Russian Orthodox congregations. A play group can be used to facilitate singing Russian songs, reading books and doing crafts in Russian, making pictures out of the alphabet's letters.  Finding or creating the opportunity to speak and to be with like minded company should provide encouragement and desire for embracing this linguistic aspect of her mother and herself. Be relentless in your attempts with the little ones who can be so strong willed. If it is in your heart (as I'm sure it is), share your heart with her, so that it, too, will be in hers.    
Amunot
Reply with quote  #4 
My baby has not yet started talking much, but our friends had the same situation. They lived in Norway, and the mother spoke Norwegian to the child while the father spoke English (but understood Norwegian). The daughter started speaking Norwegian, but understanding English. One day she asked the father to bring her shoes in Norwegian. He decided to pretend that he did not understand. After a few attempts saying 'sko' (shoe in Norwegian), she thought for a while, then went back to the father and told him 'shoe!'. And he went and helped her put on her shoes- and after that, she speaks to him in English!
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