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Anna Blasz
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
I'm Polish. I lived in the UK for a few years and i used to talk only in Polish to my kids. T. is 23 months old, Z. is 14 months old. After my husband left me on my vacation in Poland (2 months ago) i decided to stay there as i have no where in the UK to go. I'm planning to go back to UK before my kids start school there (in 4 years time). That's why I decided to start talking in English to them - it's the only possibility for them to learn that language now. My family speaks only Polish and kids have contact with my mum half of the day because we live with her. She would feel bad if i talked to them in English in her presence so in such times i speak Polish. I use English only when I'm alone with them - for around 5 hours a day. Am i confusing my kids? I'm worried they won't be able to tell the difference between Polish and English and start talking very late. My daughter is almost 2 and she rarely says a word.
Mariela d.
Reply with quote  #2 

Hi Ana, I am Italian and somehow my story has something similar to yours. My Chinese husband and I ended in divorce one year ago and then he decided to go back to China. Once he left, I moved to my parents house for a while together with our 23 months old kid.  

Our kid enjoys kindergarden in the morning and then he spends about 4 hours with my parents in the afternoon, constantly hearing only Italian language, from monday to friday. Back from work, I am his only Chinese language resource. 

My chinese is quite fluent since i used to live in China for 4 years before returning to Italy.

For a long time I asked myself wether our kid would have felt bad in hearing his mum speaking a language different from the one spoken by the rest of the family. I was also scared as you that speaking Chinese in presence of my family would have let them feel uncomfortable. But in the end, I realized that all these fears were in my mind, and that the way a kid learns a language when he is so young is just the same as he learns to cycle. They will not feel confused. It is just a natural process which does not mind anybody around us. Today, I have set some goals and I feel more spontaneous in speaking chinese to our kid every time i can. I also found out that many useful information on the bilingualism, like those offered on multilingualchildren.org, helps you to take a breath and start with more energy than before in speaking another language to your kid.
Don't be afraid of speaking English to your kids Ana, you are giving them a big chance. Be positive! 


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