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Emily
Reply with quote  #1 
My husband and I want to start a family in a year or so. We are looking into how we would apply bilingualism in our family, and can't quite figure it out.
ML@H and OPOL don't seem like they would be the best fit for us (if interested in why: see below.)

We both have the community language (Dutch) as our native language, and would like to add English as a family language (and possibly some passive French through books, media and a grandparent).

For the first few years, we're considering an alternating system that gives about equal time to both languages, and are looking for people who have experience with this.
-switch every day?
-use a multiple day system (e.g. Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Dutch; Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: English)?
-switch every week?

We have some ideas that we can play around with once any future children attend nursery or primary school, depending on their needs. We're only looking for a good starting point for those first few years.


Although we won't tell our family about the bilingual plan until I'm actually pregnant, we're quite confident that they will support it and agree to using a certain language at a certain time, so they would not be an 'obstacle'.
(Most of our close relatives, though all of them are native Dutch speakers, either grew up abroad in a bilingual Dutch-English context, lived abroad, studied and/or teach English, or at least speak English quite well.)



*Why we don't think ML@H or OPOL are a good match for us

Since we both speak and love the majority language and would like our children to also learn Dutch from us (instead of the dialect or strongly accented Dutch they would almost certainly learn at day care or school), ML@H (at least in its pure form) is out.

And even though my English is near native speaker level (including grammar, vocabulary and accent) due to having lived and studied abroad for a considerate amount of time, I would still like to share my native tongue with our (hypothetical) children.
My husband knows and speaks English very well, but definitely not at the same level as I do. And he would also like to speak Dutch to our future children.
That means OPOL is out.

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