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Manuel Monteleone
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everybody , it has been inspirational to read the experiences of other families and i would be grateful if anybody could , through previous experience or knowledge, advise on how best initiate my 1 year old daughter to more than 2 languages.

My wife is french , i am Italian, we live in Spain and we speak English to each other.Our Spanish is elementary, we are in the process of learning it...

We moved down here after a few years in now i guess the idea is that the mother speaks french to her while i will stick to Italian only...and up to here is kind of straight forward...

Nursery is our first doubt... there is a large offer here in Spain , they have English where they study Spanish as second language and viceversa.... and the same applies for school.

What should we do, should we prioritize Spanish as we live here and leave English as the adult only language... or is there a better or more convenient solution ? and what chances of learning Italian does my daughter have , considering that i will only see her a couple of hours per day and i am the only Italian speaker for her.

Any advise or personal experience is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot !! :-)



Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Manuel,

It depends a bit on the long term plan... Are you expecting to stay in Spain? If so she’ll learn Spanish without a problem — no worries on that. From there on it is your own priority. French, Italian and Spanish are all Latin based languages, so even if one of them were to fall behind, it is very easy to learn later on, or even over a summer stay. The good news is that both France and Italy are close enough for frequent trips. And, there is nothing like full immersion to learn a language — particularly if you know kids there.

If you expect to stay in Spain, consider doing an English speaking school, and if you are only in Spain for a few years, and you still want her to learn Spanish, do the Spanish school where they teach English. That would be my choice.

About the Italian: A few hours a day is perhaps not enough for her to speak it, but during the weekends and with Italy close by I wouldn’t worry too much about it. She’ll still develop a great understanding of Italian, and between vacations and family / friends she’ll be able to go from only understanding to speaking it amazingly quickly. So, whatever you do, keep speaking Italian to her. It will pay off in the end, but you may not hear her speak it as well as you had hoped from the very beginning. Patience and time are your friends in this endeavor.

Good luck!
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Christina Bosemark
Founder & List Moderator
Multilingual Children’s Association

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