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We live in Ireland, my husband an I are both French. Our daughter is nearly 5 months (I know... it's early, I just want to make it right) and we've decided to opt for ML@H (actually we speak to her in English as soon as there's a non-French speaker included in the conversation). we don't listen to French music, some of the book we're reading to her are in English and even the TV (we don't let her watch it, but it will be sometimes in the background) is in English (only one French channel and we very rarely watch it). Is it o.k for me to sing to her and read to her in English? Am I taking the risk for her not to be exposed enough to the minority language? We don't have much friends in the community (we have friends but they're just not French).What do you think? My concern is the following: I'm pretty sure I already know the answer to my own question but I want to see if someone's got a similar experience. thanks for your help! Dezzie
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So wait...whats the minority language, French?
Anyway, I think you should definitely speak French at home, and when out and about. Speak French when and where ever you take your DD. If you are at home speak French to her, even when you have English guest--its not like you are having indepth, rivoting conversations with a 5 month old. You're just making mom-baby asides and cooing. If you feel uncomfortable repeat yourself in English for courtesy's sake. Personally, I always encourage my friends to speak a 2nd language to their child if they know one. Especially if they are at my house because I want my little siblings to hear a 2nd language spoken fluently and regularly. When reading to her, it should be easy to say the book in French, even if its written in English, since you and your husband are French. One summer I translated Are You My Mother into Arabic everytime I read it to my then 1 year old brother. He loved it just as much and since that was his favorite book, it gave me MANY chances to practice my spoken Arabic. As for your lack of French Media--get some! Order CD's, Books and a few DVDs for baby to enjoy. Make flashcards, and get some puppets. The DVD's can just be regular movies so long as they have a French language audio track and you and your husband make use of it. Look into getting a small Learn to Read Workbook for her, even though she's much too young, you may find some great series! Since you live in Ireland I'm assuming that school will be Gaelic or maybe even English so you will want to make French a big part of her life before she begins to socialise in the Majority language. You want her 1st language to be French, so its imperative, I think that you and your husband speak French around her, too her and encourage her to speak French at every opportunity. When she gets older, or when your schedule permits, maybe you could start a small French class for moms and their babies. Then you would have a small circle of people who speak basic French and maybe the other babies will learn French from your DD as they all grow up.