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Larissa
Reply with quote  #1 
1. Country you live in: Germany
2. Languages the family speaks: Ukrainian / English / German
3. Age of the child: 6 months
4. Language system (OPOL, ML@H or any other method): none

I'm Canadian of Ukrainian heritage and speak Ukrainian very well (but not fluently). My husband is Ukrainian and speaks English very well (but not fluently). We live in Germany and speak predominantly Ukrainian to each other. Our daughter is 6 months old and spends most of her time with me, as her father is away a lot on business. (Therefore, the OPOL approach would not work for us).

We would like our daughter to speak English and Ukrainian bilingually. German will be introduced later through daycare and school. 

Question: 
How to best develop a system where I systematically speak both Ukrainian and English to our daughter (with as little language mixing as possible)? One approach I thought of is to speak Ukrainian during the week to her and English on the weekends. Has anyone tried this?

One thing to note in our situation is that although I would like the child's English to eventually be at the same level as her Ukrainian, I feel that Ukrainian will have to be emphasized MORE in the home than English, since there will be much less chance of her learning it through other sources (unlike English).

Any advice on our situation and which approach to take is much appreciated!
Larissa



InternationalMama
Reply with quote  #2 
1. Country you live in: South Korea
2. Languages the family speaks: English / Spanish / French / minimal Korean
3. Age of the child: 3 yrs
4. Language system (OPOL, ML@H or any other method): ML@H using designated weeks for each language, child attending bilingual (Korean-English) preschool

I posted our situation above for reference. I think your method seems like a great idea. We're using kind of a variation on what you propose. I'm American and speak English as a native language and Spanish fluently (plus conversational French). My husband is Mexican speaks Spanish as a native language, English fluently, and has learned the basics of a bunch of other languages. Although our current focus is English and Spanish (and we're all learning Korean), we really want to make sure to maintain all the languages we can. Neither of us is comfortable with OPOL, partly because we've spoken both languages since we were young and it's hard to give that up completely. Right now, we do alternating weeks. For two weeks, we display a Mexican flag and speak only Spanish at home (including books/movies/whatever). Then every other Saturday, we switch, put up an American flag, and speak only English at home. Eventually, we hope to add French into the mix but we'll see. 

The point is, this is do-able, you just have to be consistent and totally commit to it. We like having a visible symbol to help re-inforce which language we're using. It actually helps all of us because otherwise we start to slip and forget.
larissa
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks so much for your comment and advice. I especially like the idea of putting up flags around the house as a reminder. I will give it a try!
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