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Erika Proot
Reply with quote  #1 
My husband and I both live in Belgium. I am American and a native English speaker while he is Belgian and a native Dutch speaker.  Because we both speak English to each other, we have decided to raise our children bilingually with English being the first language. Outside of the home we ususally both speak Dutch with family members and friends. We do, however, wonder if our children will hear enough Dutch outside of the home for them to pick it up and speak it fluently by school-age since they will attend Dutch-speaking schools.
Is it enough for them to have other family members (the in-laws) and friends regularly speak Dutch in order for them to pick this up as well? And does the fact that we ourselves speak English at home and Dutch outside of the home create more problems in their language-learning abilities? Another added confusion is when we have Dutch guests visiting.  Then we speak Dutch at home instead of English.

Erika Proot
Native language: English
Huband's native language: Dutch
Language spoken in the home: primarily English
Number of children: 2
Ages of children: 1 1/2 and newborn
Reply with quote  #2 
Your situation sounds very similar to my own. I am American, native English speaker and my husband is French, native French speaker. We speak French to each other but speak English with the children (ages 1 year and 3 years). The kids have little interaction with French speakers on a regular basis (at church weekly, but the in-laws rarely visit).

We do the ML@H theory in general, but like you, we speak French with company or outside of the home (except if speaking directly to the kids).

We were also a bit concerned about our 3 year old not speaking French when he starts school in September (he will be 3y9m) -- but we decided not to worry about it, we'd let the teacher know and he would catch up quickly.

But our fears look to have been ungrounded, anyway. He had his "language explosion" around age 2 in English, as is typical - but now at age 3 is having another "language explosion" in French. And this is despite very, very little interaction in French with others.
Reply with quote  #3 

I am a french native speaker whereas my husband speak french and english and we live in UK. We speak French at home and my son (26 months) makes himself understood in french but now has started to tell us some english words. How do I go about? Do I agree to him in French or in English? His exposure to the FRench language is from his parents and when we visit my family in France. I know that when he will start school his english will improve dramastically and eventually will be more confortable in English than in French. Please advice as I am confusing and also my nanny (sister in law) tends to speak to him one minute in French one minute in English - and I do not think that this is the right thing to do - so I am seaking advice whether I should ask her to be consistent in one language only.

Thank you
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