Daina Jauntirans wrote:
* What about her other language, Latvian? She was quite resistant to it in the past, and it's been a real struggle to get her to relative fluency. I think I probably need to look at the larger picture and realize that since the class will be Spanish-only, she'll need a few months to get used to it, during which time her Latvian might suffer. Hopefully she'll bounce back, though.
I believe that in the long run, the most important thing you can do in this respect is to keep on talking to her in Latvian in a matter-of-fact way even if she doesn't answer back in the same language. Don't slide into answering her in English (or whichever language she addresses you in) and don't enter into a power struggle insisting that she speak Latvian, or the language could become a burden and an obligation which she will resist. By continuing to speak it, you will at least maintain her passive knowledge. This is much easier to convert into active knowledge than if you give up and let it fade away.
My children started school in French immersion in (English) Canada, and it was interesting to note that for a majority of their classmates, French was not the 2nd but the 3rd language for these children. They spoke their immigrant parents' language at home and English outside the home, followed by French at school. So it can be done.