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my husband and I have a 22 month old son and have been trying to raise him bilingually since he was born. We are both native English speakers, and I speak Greek conversationally. I learned while in college and travelled to Greece at the same time quite a bit. I am constantly doubting myself though, because I am not fluent and often I can't say exactly what I want to or have to look something up in the dictionary. I speak to him only in Greek but it is in sort of a limited way because of this. I do not want to give up, but I am wondering if it would be a good idea to speak to him in English a couple days a week?
His dad speaks primarily English, although he throws in some Greek now and then since he started learning too. He also goes to an English speaking daycare. I tried to find a Greek nanny in Portland, Oregon, but no luck.
Also, should I be very worried about making grammatical errors? This is harder than I thought it was going to be!
Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated!
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I really relate to your question- it is difficult to raise bilingual kids when we are not native speakers of the language. I'm no expert, and have only recently begun our bilingual journey in our home. But that being said, I would say it would be best to continue with as much Greek as possible. It doesn't have to be perfect all the time. You are giving him the building blocks which can be built upon as he gets older and as you both learn more Greek. As he gets older, he will also be getting more and more English from outside sources (family, school, etc...) So the more consistent Greek he is exposed to, the better. I suggest looking for outside resources that can help. If you are willing to invest a little money, you might look at a program I came across for children recently called Dino Lingo (dinolingo.com) which is a language program specific to young children. There are some examples of what the videos and other resources are like on their website. I noticed they do have a Greek program. I have found many free resources online as well. Youtube has childrens shows translated in many languages. I tried typing in "Childrens shows in Greek" and it came up with a few. (Maybe you've already done this) I have found many blogs of families trying to raise bilingual children all over the world and they usually list resources that lead me to more and more. Here is a link to a site that lists many blogs. Even if none of them are specifically raising their families with your target language, I've found many ideas and strategies to incorporate into my own family's journey. http://www.busyasabeeinparis.com/p/blog-page.html I hope this maybe helps a little. Good Luck!
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I would just like to say that I admire what you're doing. I have two children (Jamal 2 and Michelle 1). I am half Scottish and half Austrian and my husband is Algerian. I was brought up bilingual in English and German and my husband in French and Arabic. We met in Spain, where our son was born and were then speaking Spanish to each other. We have since moved to Austria and now speak English to each other. Our daughter was born in Austria. I speak only English to the children and my husband only French. To my knowledge, the most important thing is that each parent consistently speak only one language to the child. Then the child can associate each language with a person. ..
I wish you all the best for the future.....