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Erik K
Reply with quote  #1 

I don't yet have kids. I love the whole idea of multilingual teaching from birth.

But I have one concern. My understanding, from reading and life experience, is that children want to be like their friends and not their parents. Children don't like to seem different from the other kids around them.

My questions to the parents:

Has your child ever become embarrassed by you speaking a foreign language in public or in front of their friends?

Did your child ever resist speaking that language in front of strangers or their friends?

If yes, how did you respond?

Would it be a good idea to promise children that foreign languages will not be spoken in public or when their friends are present?

Thanks, everyone.
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Erik,

This will very much depend on where you live and how you have raised your children.
Where I live (Southern Spain), multi-lingual families are quite normal, so my boys (9 and 12 y.o.) are not "out-siders" or "weird" because they are tri-lingual. Every school class, football team, playground etc. has non-Spanish speaking children, so they are very often asked to act as translaters. They have been raised in a Spanish community but with lots of Danish/English influence through friends, playgroups, films, books etc. So for sure, they have never been embarrased fo speak any of their languages in public - in fact I think they are quiet proud of it sometimes, though most of the time it's just everyday-life for them and not something they think about.

Reply with quote  #3 
Erik, I feel for you!  I definitely think it's an American problem (not sure where you live), considering how many monolingual people live here.  I know a lot of my friends that grew up bilingually spoke English when their English speaking friends were present, but used their second language all other times.  My daughter is three and only recently have I switched to English when addressing her AND a friend at the same time (so I don't have to repeat myself).  The good thing is that she's not yet self-conscious about herself so I think I have a few more years until she'll be embarrassed to speak Spanish, especially as a non-Latina. 
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