Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Raising M: Bilingual or Not?

Happy Wednesday, my loves! I hope you're all having fabulous days. I'm at the office all this week, which means I'm stuck behind a desk and not out enjoying the sunshine with M, but at least I'm raking in cash, right?

Speaking of M, I read an article on Babble this morning, and it's had me thinking ever since. It's about raising bilingual children. Now, M talks like crazy. The girl's vocabulary never ceases to amaze me, and she learns new things everyday, but we haven't pushed on her learning another language. I've thought about it, and even brought it up to B, but aside from her repeating Dora every now and then, that's about as far as we've gotten on the other languages train. 

I feel like, since we live in Texas, she should learn Spanish, after all, it will greatly helpful in her adult life. But, I would love for her to learn either French or German. Most of my mom's family has a German heritage, and I think French is a beautiful language. Plus, I'm hoping that M grows up to be just as much of a culture addict as I am, so I feel that interesting languages will fuel that. But four languages is quite a bit for a toddler, I would think. So, I'm stuck as to which to teach her first. Obviously I will be learning right along side her, seeing as how my knowledge of Spanish stops at "Where's the bathroom?" ("Dónde está el baño?") and the only French I know is "Je t'aime beaucoup mon petit chéri" which means I love you very much, my little darling. 

So what do y'all think? Should I stick with Spanish and add the other ones later? And what's the best way to teach a toddler different languages? I should probably hit up a bookstore, huh?

What about you, are you teaching your child another language, or planning to?

12 comments:

{[Jessica]} said...

i am all about raising my son bilingual - i look at is as its only helping HIM in the long run!! he will be able to find a better job because of it - find scholarships for school - do many different things.. I wish I was bilingual - I am also starting to teach him sign language...

Its a tough topic - and many people have their own opinions on why or why not..but in the end its all your choice and what you feel is right!!

Celia said...

I am Hispanic and my parents chose to raise me with English only. With the small area I grew up in this was actually the best option. I recently ran into someone from Corpus and he told me he didn't know Spanish at all and I was shocked, I mean.. he's from Corpus and Hispanic. His parents did it for the same reasons mine did.

I knew some Spanish because my grandmother only spoke Spanish, I understood it more than I spoke it. I learned Spanish in my teens. It wasn't really that hard. I still speak it with a Texas accent rather than with the Spanish tongue but I like it better that way. Even today, I really only speak it if I MUST. Like if I really want my tacos from my favorite taco place and I want to make sure they make them correctly. =)

Mychael and I plan on learning German soon, and I will be learning French as well.

Suze said...

I think it depends on how "bilingual" you want your kid to be. I don't think it hurts introducing them to words and phrases from multiple languages- it's certainly a good time of life to do so! But it is difficult to expect them to truly be bilingual or fluent that way.

I just had a baby and I don't know. I am a fluent speaker of French and my husband really wants our baby to learn French from a young age. But I don't want to do the whole one parent speaks exclusively English and the other French only. So we will probably just use French words and phrases so he learns vocabulary from both languages and see what happens! I think it would be sad not to teach him another language- it's such a wonderful skill and is really valuable for his cognitive development and first language acquisition as well!

Jessica Renee said...

Growing up in South Texas and being Hispanic, my parents tried speaking to me in Spanish but by this time I was already about 3 and apparently I asked them to stop talking to me like "Indians".. hahaha. Obviously I didn't get it. But they stopped and that really bums me out now because while I can understand a lot of it, I can't actually speak Spanish. Now I have a 1/2 caucasian daughter and her dad's upset that I can't teach her spanish. lol. We're gonna try and learn as a family now!

My personal opinion would be to start off with Spanish. If y'all intend to stay in Texas then I think that's what would help her the most, plus she'd have a much greater chance of using/practing it around here! :) Either way, y'all will help her so much by teaching her another language!

Nicole said...

I was raised bilingual English/German. And my cousins were all raised English/Swedish. It's been super helpful now that I'm adult because it makes it so much easier to pick up on other languages when I'm meeting new people and/or traveling. I don't have kids, so I can't comment on how it would be to raise a bilingual child, but I can tell you that I super awesomely appreciate my parents raising me bilingual!

Best wishes on this one, sweet friend!! XO

B said...

I took German in high school, and French in college. DAMN, I wish I had taken Spanish on a weekly basis - I vote Spanish.

Meg O. said...

I would totally vote French if you were a French Canadian. Unfortunately, there are not very many opportunities to practice French in Texas. Perhaps she can be a singer? While I am not bilingual, since I studied vocal performance, I studied all kinds of linguistics. After all, the classics weren't written in English. I know how to pronounce Latin, French, German, and Spanish and I know a lot of meanings of these words simply from studying music. And what better way to be infused with cultures? I have a Colombian stepmother so there is always a Spanish lesson coming my way when we're together. I think I'm just going to let her be Kennedy's Spanish teacher. LOL.

To choose to study a language, no matter how small a part of it, is giving yourself or your child to understand her own language better and the world around her! Well, that's just my two cents. Haha.

Also. Sorry I've been a bad commenter. I do read :)

LWLH said...

I'd probably go with Spanish since there is more of an opportunity to practice and actually use it where you live.

I would like to try to introduce new languages to my future kids because it can only help them to have that kind of knowledge.

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