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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi, can I ask some opinions on my daughter*s language developement? I am a native english speaker and amd married to a dane and we live in Denmark. We speak english using ML@H and our daughter has just started a danish speaking nursery (just under a month ago). At age 24 months she started speaking in 2 words sentences and the odd 3 word but since starting nursery she seems to talk in singular words again and speaks so much gibberish. Amazingly she has adapted to nursery very well and has a great understanding of danish though as of yet is not speaking it. Her english vocabulary is ever increasing, I would guess she has somewhere around 300 words but she doesn*t seem to be trying to formulate sentences at all now. She talks all day, asks questions, makes exclamations but all mostly in her own language with a bit of english thrown in, is this normal? I go on another website and all the kids on there seem to be doing heaps better than her with 2 languages and I cannot help but worry. Everytime I go to pick her up from nursery I hear her before I see her chattering away in her language and the workers tell me she is really happy and undertsand everything they are saying though if she is upset they comfort her in english. Ever since she started talking she has seemed to have small exlposions and then regression. Sorry this is long but I hope some of you can ressure me or give me some tips, thanks Katt.
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Katt,
I am in the same situation as you where my husband and I live in UK, I am a native french speaker whereas my husband is Mauritian he can speak both languages but mixed them up. We have been speaking to our son (26 months) in French which he understands very well. He has started nursery on a part time basis last year and now understands English; however he doesn't really speak, he says a lot but we do not really understand him.

I have noticed that he goes through a phase where his french vocabulary improves dramatically for a little while and then stops and talks gibberish; he seems to have boust of up and downs. So be reassured, my son is the same as your daughter.

He now starts saying english words and I am confused as to how I should behave. I tend to agree with what he says in english in french. Am I doing this right? Am I not confusing him by imposing the French language over his tentative in the English language?

My sister in law who is more fluent in French than English and who looks after him on a part time basis and is concerned that by his lack of english vocabulary so speaks to him in both languages. I am concerned that this inconsistency is not good for him. Please help !

Thank you
Reply with quote  #3 
Katt--Not to worry, some kids do this, even if they are monolingual. Its just a part of development that MANY kids experience. I cant really explain it but have seen it in 6 different kids. I was told I did the same thing. Something just "snapped" when I was about 3 and for a while I would only speak my own language.

When I was 4 I stopped that and spoke good English but with a very bad impediment.

Sandrine--There isn't anything wrong with your boy either. You could ask your sister to pick one language and stick with it, and just respond in that language whether your son speaks English or French to her. You aren't stumping him when you respond in French to his English questions. You're helping him.

Both of you should do something extra though, if your worried their vocabulry is lacking. Make a concious and consistent effort to do home language activities with your child and prompt them to use words in the languages that they need to learn.

Buy a few books in French and read to them. Teach them the Alphabet in the minority language, phase them out of TV thats in their majority language and into the minority language. Play with them in their language and praise them when they speak no matter what language its in. Invite them to tell you a story in that second language, greet them, scold and praise in that minority language.

Its important that you use the minority language as fully as any other language. Even punishments, they shouldn't think somethings especially awful about being in trouble in Spanish, they should think that Spanish is just as useful and whole as English/Danish.

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