Monday, July 21, 2008

Do I have the discipline???

There are about four more weeks until Victor's first birthday. As we are beginning to plan the celebration, thoughts of how quickly he is growing up flood my mind. Through my reading, I have found that he can understand much of what we say already! Exciting and scary at the same time.

Which brings me to this week's topic: what is the best home environment to encourage your child to become bilingual?

For parents in our situation (2 distinct native languages, but fluidity in each other's language), there seem to be two main schools of thought:

1. One parent, one language and
2. Family language, community language.

Before my husband and I started dating, we primarily conversed in English (even though we were living in Madrid). When we started dating, Spanish reigned. After moving to the States and getting married, we developed a strange mix of language: we argue and curse in Spanish, difficult conversations are a mix of English and Spanish (each of us using our native tongue), and day-to-day conversation can move from English to Spanish and back within a single sentence.

Suffice it to say, we both enjoy speaking in both languages, get bored sticking to one, and, at times, simply just lack the discipline to do so.

So what do we do with Victor?

Until now, Oscar has been great primarily speaking to Victor in Spanish. At times he throws in an English word or song, but that's it.

I, on the other hand, am a mess. I go back and forth with the languages (at times even throwing in a bit of high school French!), with no rhyme or reason other then my mood at the time. I did give myself a deadline of his first birthday to figure it all out.

The next posts will explore the different methodologies (including the 2 above), give pros and cons, and (hopefully!) hubby and I will make a final decision as to how our family will move forward!

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