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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, ladies and gentlemen,
I am new to the board, so I hope I am doign this right.  I moved to the USA from Belgium three years ago, my native language being Dutch.  I spoke English fluently when I moved here.
Two years ago my little boy was born and we decided to raise him bilingual, with a OPOL system.  My husband is learning Dutch and will sometimes read Dutch childrens books to him.
The problem is that now that I am pregnant, my dominant language (English currently) completely takes over.  I just can't remember to speak Dutch.  Or when I do, I say something in English first, then remember and repeat it in Dutch.  I had language problems too when I was pregnant with my sweet boy, but then it didn't really affect anything.

Joseph is currently in the word mapping phase.  And I am worried about what this current laps in my Dutch might mean for him developping both languages. 

Does anyone out there have any advice for me?
Should I go completely to English until this phase is over?  (My language skills recovered very slowly after giving birth to Joseph, partly due to sleep deprivation).  Or should I try whatever Dutch I can give him, even if I mix up both languages?
Reply with quote  #2 
Dear Eva, congratulations! What a wonderful time of life for you in so many ways.  Wow, it does sound complicated, your situation.  Have you ever considered prenatal yoga, or breathing exercises or perhaps Acupuncture? These may help you regain or work on regaining some balance in your life. Forgive me, if I am misconstruing things, and I don't mean to be rude either.  It is important that you not worry too much about these things, and know that taking care of yourself for both your children is necessary.  Having said that, I would definitely not give up on the Dutch, even for a little while.  It may make things harder for you in the long run to have to try and get back into the swing of things, and it may make things temporarily more confusing for your eldest.  It is best, however sloppy or secondary, for him to hear the Dutch and don't forget, research has shown that the ears of the unborn are listening, too. 
Erik K
Reply with quote  #3 
Welcome, Eva.

You should not have the sole burden of speaking Dutch to your kids.

Telephone your Dutch-speaking relatives, and ask them to speak on the phone with your son in Dutch. If your relatives speak English to you, you should ask to speak Dutch with them, and explain that you are trying to stop yourself from losing the language (for your kids' benefit).

Use Google to search for Dutch speakers in your area. Also, you could look at:
to find other kids who speak that language (yes, it seems unlikely that you could find any, but who knows?).

There are various websites, including this one, where you could post a message. Describe your exact location (city, neighborhood) and ask for play-dates with other parents' Dutch speaking kids

I agree with Daira, you should not quit speaking Dutch. Even if you speak it poorly, your kids will still learn the words.

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