hi! just wondering if anyone is raising their children in a bilingual environment? OH and I are planning on raising our LO with irish and english (me speaking the former and himself the latter). I've read plenty of research and it seems encouraging, but just wondering if any of you have personal experience with 2 languages at home? grma!
My mum raised us with lots of Irish words in our vocab. that we didn't even realise were Irish till we went to school. We never even noticed any difference. I used to be fantastic at Irish but I've forgotten most of it (tenses etc) now. I'm sure though it would come back if I was using it again alot.
I have lots of cousins who are from the Gaeltacht (my mother grew up there too). Most of them were raised bilingually they had no problems. In fact they all got on REALLY well in the final exams as they were able to do them through Irish and get the extra marks! I have other cousins who were only thought english when they went to school.
One of my cousins has married a girl from the Ukrain. Their son is surrounded by Irish, English and Ukrainian (sp? what ever language she speaks sorry for my ignorance). He's only 3 and can answer in all the languages and has no problems with it.
If my Irish were good enough I would do exactly what you are doing but it's not
My best friend is raising her 2 girls in greek, german and spanish. She's greek, her DH is half german-half spanish. They're living at the moment in Spain but their language at home is german. The older one is now 2 years old and mixes the languages around but if you do speak in german to her she switches to german automatically.
DH & I will raise our child bilingual as well, german & english. I think its a great gift you can give your children to learn more than one language - I think it will be easier for them to learn any other language later in life.
We'll be doing Danish/English. Hubbie is Danish and we live in Copenhagen now. Haven't done a huge amount of research on it yet. I need to get my own Danish up to scratch first ;-)
Thanks for the replies girls, that's very encouraging!
DH is french/portuguese and I'm irish so we are most definately will be raising bilingual children.
I read in a newspaper article that the best way of teaching both languages is for one parent, one language. Like iI would speak only english to babs and DH only french. But TBH I know of an irish/french/canadian couple and they are both speaking both languages to thei 1 year old and she understands fine.
I reckon, the more languages the better!!!
Coolaboola i replied to this on mums and kids thread. I'm speaking irish to LO.
Hi Coolaboola, I'm a primary school teacher and the way we teach Irish is to do Irish lessons through Irish (with lots of gesturing etc.) and to mix in Irish into everyday use. Like I'd say one week 'Will you close the doras?' and point to the open door. Next week it'll be 'Will you dun an doras' until it builds up and the English is replaced fully with Irish. Have seen non-English speaking kids pick up Irish before English. (I had a Latvian kid who would say 'Where's my glas?' until I taught him it was 'green'!)
I have to say it's such a huge advantage and great start to give your kids and will hopefully do similiar with our own if we have them PG.
For new nationalities enroling kids in the school we suggest the parents mix the languages as much as possible at home. A junior infant just started on Tuesday and despite his parents having good English (they're Polish) and enroling him last October, they never bothered to speak English to him in the past year & now he's running riot, doesn't even have yes / no & will probably end up repeating the year. I know that's a little off topic but I'd definately encourage bilingualism as early as possible. Say things in English & repeat in Irish. Best of luck with it all!
Thanks for the advice everyone! Great to see that everyone is so positive and encouraging.
Wedjuly05, i was thinking that 1 language 1 parent is the way to go too. I totally agree with you that it's best to introduce language when they're young!
Wedding dilemma, I'm actually a primary teacher too (in a Gaelscoil) so I'm well used to teaching gaeilge to the smallies, but it will be so different doing it at home! Thanks for the advice though, interesting to hear what you think.
I've pm'd you