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pamela
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
why a special family? Because we are both Italian but we would like to raise our child bi-trilingual.
Our daughter has been having, since she was 10 months old, English speaking nannies (the first Australian, the current American) and she already understands everything and can speak a little bit of English (she is 22 months now).
In September she will start an English kindergarten and i think it is the right time to start teaching her German, language that i speak fluently almost as a mother language. A German nanny would come and help me teaching her the language with songs, games etc. We have an apartment in Berlin where we go often so my daughter has the opportunity to stay in contact with the language spoken often, even in summer when we go in German speaking hotels and countries.
My husband is however scared it could be too much for her and he would prefer me to give up on this topic. I think it would be a pity for her to loose such an opportunity, even because nowadays with nannies, games, DVD etc it shall be quite easy and fun to start with a third language.

What is your opinion? What shall i do? 
Gabariera
Reply with quote  #2 

I am Japanese/Ghanaian/Australian and was born in India.  My mother is Japanese/Australian and we moved to Japan when I was 4 months old, and so Japanese is my first language.  I lived with my grandmother from the age of 1, and she taught me to speak English from an early age.  She would have one day a week when she would only speak English to me, and so I learned pretty quickly what things meant.  When I moved to Australia, I attended a Buddhist Sunday school there from the age of 4, and I did the same when I moved to England, and at both of these schools most of the services were in Chinese, and so i also learnt some of this language.  I also know some words in Punjabi too, and this was never too much for me.  Sometimes when I was very young I would get some of the languages mixed up, but as I knew that on Saturdays I spoke English and Sundays Chinese, and spoke Japanese at home and Japanese or English at school depending on the country we lived in, and so I soon learnt to tell the differences between the languages.  I would definately reccomend this system.

Pamela
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Gabariera
thank you very much for your reply. This is my opinion too. It cannot be too much. As soon as she gets older she will understand the differences and speak fluently all the languages.

Thanks a lot
AC
Reply with quote  #4 
hi Pamela,

That's great that your daughter is on her way to becoming bilingual in English and Italian. And your right, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to learn German.

Learning lots of languages is not too much for kids. What is too much is being hyper-programmed. Kids need lots of time just to play on their own or with other kids without a schedule.

It sounds like what you have been doing so far has been pretty informal, and so I would try to keep formal German lessons out of the picture until she has started primary school. But you can begin introducing German in fun ways right now. Focus on fun and games, songs, and (when you go to Berlin) playing with other kids and helping you in your errands, such as buying vegetables, bread, etc.

And remember that for preschool kids, in order for them to benefit linguistically or cognitively from DVDs, they need to watch them with a caring grown-up, not by themselves.

Good luck!

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