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Author Topic: Introducing a language into the home.  (Read 5114 times)
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« on: January 07, 2011, 10:52:47 PM »

I will admit to having something of a language fetish  happy and am thus trying to fit as many languages as possible into my teaching schedule. At the moment I'm restricting myself to one for each day of the week (but that means picking one of Italian, Irish, Korean and Danish - I have good reasons to learn them all (especially Irish, as it was my grandfather's first language though he didn't pass it on to my mum Sad  but there is a lack of resources for all of them). 

Anyhow, I have decided definitely on British signs (all the time - it should help associate foreign words with their meaning) Russian, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese and want to build them into our days. I can easily do this with Russian, but that is the only one I speak. The others I want to learn alongside Nikki, though I suspect he'll overtake me in no time  laugh

I have many passive resources, such as Pim and Muzzy, audio books and songs and for active communication, I had thought I would add one word or phrase each week which I then use all the time, whenever I can! I just don't know where to start! I'm a planner by nature and need to know where I'm heading before I start, which often leads to going nowhere!

Does anyone have any ideas? Should I start with useful things like 'I'm hungry' and 'I want the potty' or should I go for more tradional 'hello' and 'my name is'?


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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 01:36:52 AM »

I have a similar problem, I want to devise a way to build a multilingual environment for my kids. I have decided to use my non-Native Spanish with them from birth because I always wanted to speak and learn Spanish from the time I was about 4 or 5 so I figured I'll do the same for my child. (Or Try to)...
I myself aim to have conversational fluency in at least 7 languages within 10 years, but I think I want my kids to learn 4 languages within the first 5 years of life (Spanish, Arabic, English and French) and then add in a new language every 8-12 months.

I plan to use LR and Wink To Learn to teach my child Chinese from 6mos on. Dont worry so much about Teaching each language, just study them around your kid, make them a part of your daily routine. Use audio courses and video courses, and labels and watch Videos and Read books in that language with the child around and learn and use phrases relevant to your life. Your kids will only need to know your name a few times, but they'll be needing to know how to ask for something right away. They will intuit when you are greeting them...

Put on Skits around the house, short and fast...Pretend to go back and forth on whether you need Salt or Pepper for the tasty dish you're having for lunch...I'm not in that situation yet, I'm still building Spanish fluency and trying to get back into Arabic full time. Good luck...
Focus on Practical Language first.

I can't say for sure, but if you speak Russian, then speak Russian daily to your DS. Don't fit it into a "Teaching Schedule" speak Russian during meals, baths and dressings, ask him if he wants "this or that" in Russian...Nikki should grow up no less than bilingual, since you can effortlessly give him that second language.

I think, that you're going to need to pick a set of languages (I guess up to 5 at a time) to work on. Is it plausible to take in a Foreign Exchange student for a while for a language you want your kid to learn?

Absorb as much as you can from Little Pim and such, study geography and as you move through the countries, learn a little about their language with Nikki, enjoy the language.
Build crafts together and use the language your studying.

I fret over this idea a lot because I worry that if I over burden myself then let languages ruin my attempts at educating my young child. I worry that I won't be able to home school my children if I use a non-native language with them in our day to day life....

I'm still not sure what to do about this. I think that I will just continue to read on the matter and study the language.  I go through alot of Spanish media now (books, videos, dvd's, songs, etc...) to build my own language use. Worst case scenario is that my children and I will have to study Spanish as a subject from a young age....

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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 09:54:12 AM »

Thanks for the ideas! I did think probably that the more useful day-to-day stuff is better to learn, but apparently the people who write textbooks (even for kids) seem to disagree smile I want to gradually introduce phrases so that I end up learning them and remembering them too! There are just so many that I think useful that I can't decide what to start with  wub

I am not focusing so much on Russian, since that is his father's native language, and speaks only Russian with him. I'd much rather his grammar be a bit more correct than my own LOL Saying that, I have three times more Russian planned than anything else, partly as it is easier and partly as it is the focus for the secondary language.

What I have planned is: signing all day, up to lunch in English and after lunch in the language of the day (mostly passive through radio/audiobooks and some cartoons until I can say a bit more). All Saturday and Sunday morning are to be in Russian with absolute minimal English (ie when I forget to speak Russian!). I am translating all the material I create in English into Russian, too.

I've left the morning in English, as we are going to be starting a couple of play groups in the morning and I often end up socialising with my Mum then, too. If we're going to be missing out on the language time anyway, I won't worry about putting it in there! Although next year we will *hopefully* be starting both Spanish and French play groups (of the mum-attends-too variety) and I'm on the look out for any other languages offered locally!

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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 03:13:59 PM »


Not sure if you've come across this thread I've found the topics covered very helpful for everyday conversation with a child in different languages - I think they have 6 or 7 languages available. They also have great customer service and replied quickly to some questions I emailed. The only other thing I wish they had was accompanying audio CDs or DVDs for their books since half of the languages I am teaching my DD are non-native languages - French, Spanish, Japanese - in addtition to Chinese, Filipino, and English (which we do speak). The Spanish and Japanese pronunciations I can manage since these languages are somewhat similar to Filipino and Chinese. It is the French pronunciations and accent that I am having great trouble with! Oh well...

Hope this helps!  smile


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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 03:59:29 PM »

To funny, aangeles LOL  I have a tough time with Chinese pronunciation. My girls like the way it sounds though.


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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 01:55:41 AM »

Hey everyone,
So I have some questions. I am very interested in teaching my daughter foreign languages, ever since I was pregnant I knew this was something I wanted her to  learn young. I always wanted to learn multiple languages but never had the chance although in high school and college I did learn some spanish and italian, however I do not know enough to just converse with her. I do have a few Rosetta Stone Cd-Roms which is geared at teaching adults foreign langages. I do not know if that would be good for my 18 month daughter to start learning with I have glanced at Little Pim and looked at Muzzy and Professor ToTo...I do not know where to start or what to purchase I want to learn with her and I would like us to learn many languages. I am planning to start sign language with her within a few weeks or so BST or ST is what I will be using which is targeted for children and I think she will love...I just don't know how to start other languages  and if I could simultaneously teach her foreign languages....I do not know what to do when it comes to this but it is something I want to do and I have procrastinated it this long.


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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 10:15:34 PM »

I am using both Muzzy and Little Pim with Nicholas - the graphics are quite outdated with Muzzy but he doesn't seem to mind. I think he does prefer Pim, though it may just be that he's more of a fan of Chinese, or that we've simply been using Pim more. We also use the WINK products, which he *loves*. Then again, he is equally thrilled to watch Let's learn Japanese with me (a video course for adults, though being Japanese it does have quite a bit of manga, too).

Signing is great, as you can use it independent of the language you speak - you can associate the words pf all languages you are learning together with a single sign. A great translation tool if you want to encourage thinking in each language independently rather than translating from English.

My program at the moment is 1 language per day, with some verbal input (which might be only a phrase or two, or complete conversations depending on the language), 15-20 minutes of video material in the language and as much audio (books/radio/songs) as I can fit in. At this young age I think it is most important to get the sounds of the language into his head, rather than two dozen individual words. I am also in the process of putting together themed books in each language (using the word-lists from WINK since I am lazy and he is familiar with those word sets).

I feel much less guilty leaving him to amuse himself while I do housework if there is an audiobook playing in another language... he must be learning something, as even I am getting phrases from Chinese and Japanese songs going round in my head!

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