Monolingual upbringing: encouraging early adoption of 2nd language
Thread poster: Communique

Communique  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:48
French to English
Jun 28, 2004

Hello Berni et al.

Great to become part of an exciting new forum!

Does anyone out there have any experience of bringing up their child(ren) in an environment where both parents speak the same native language but are keen to encourage early adoption of 2nd language in their child(ren)?

I thought about speaking French to William from birth, but decided against it as it felt unnatural/forced and I also lacked "baby talk" vocabularly in French... However, I would like to start talking/reading to him in French and wonder when/how to go about it... He has just turned two and babbles away non-stop in English!

- Forgot to mention that Dad speaks French, German and Italian as non-native languages (mainly French) and mother is strictly monolingual.


Charlie Dad to William (18/06/02)
Dad & Mum ENG

[Edited at 2004-06-28 10:30]

[Edited at 2004-06-28 10:32]


United Kingdom
Local time: 18:48
English to Italian
+ ...
Similar thread Jun 28, 2004

Hi Charlie

Did you read this long thread some time ago?

You may find useful comments and ideas in it.



PRAKASH SHARMA  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:18
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Multilingual forum must be the best forum. Jun 28, 2004

Dear Prozians,
I'd gone through earlier posting as well. As the term multilingual is attached with this forum, I'd like to disclose that in our family, three languages are spoken normally i.e. Hindi, Nepali and English. My father and I used to communicate in one more language i.e. Sanskrit. So, I feel that I 'm comfortable in four languages i.e. English, Hindi, Nepali and Sanskrit .
I'm glad to see that at last proz has a forum of lot of meaning to me. I'll look through the postings in this forum carefully.
+977 56 530738


aronakos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:48
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Kids can pick up very fast Jun 28, 2004


Both my husband's and my native language is Hungarian, but in the last 3 years we have been living in the US. At home we speak only Hungarian but in the preschool my boys hear only English. The older one (who was born in Hungary) sometimes mixes up the two languages in one sentence, but after 4-5 months he started preschool he was fine. The younger one has no problem with any of them, however, he prefers the English. The first problem came up recently, because the English and Hungarian alphabet are different, and it is though - I think impossible - to teach both in the same time. I opted to teach them the English first - since they are here - and probably after a year I will start the Hungarian.
Do not give up your native language, it is part of your heritage, your past and your childhood.

All the best


Pamela Brizzola
Local time: 19:48
English to Italian
+ ...
A French speaking friend/nanny? Jun 29, 2004

Dear Charlie,
I share your view that speaking French to your child when both your wife and you are English native speakers would indulge William to think that you are probably taking some distance for whatever reason.
I would suggest that you put the matter as a game you play or a kind of secret you have, so that he understands that French is something different from your normal life. When you take your roles in the game, you speak French, but you speak English in your everyday life.
Or, you might ask a French-speaking friend or nanny to spend some time with him, so that the child also learns baby talk in the foreign language. Or a French speaking nursery school.
I think you'll be able to speak French to him at a later stage.



Michael Roberts  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:48
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
HU/EN reading/writing Jul 3, 2004

We taught our kids the Hungarian letter pronunciations first, because they're phonetic and because we'd spoken mostly Hungarian to the kids up until then. (Wife HU, me US, living mostly in US).

Once they caught onto the whole letter concept, then we'd sneak in all those tricky English letters and how they try to fool you. My daughter is pretty shaky on spelling in both languages, because she seems to think spelling is a matter of taste (she's 10.) Reads great, though. And my son is 5, so his spelling is still unknown. Although he can now write his name, and recently wrote "Matchbox" (the cars) although it appears he thinks it's spelled MAHBXC. He really was wedded to the idea of getting that C in there. Somewhere.

But this is off-topic, really. I know of essentially monolingual people who speak foreign langauges to their kids, and they've always seemed pleased with the results, but that's all I know.


Communique  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:48
French to English
Thanks for your ideas Jul 19, 2004

Thanks to everyone who replied on the thread I started. On reflection it seems to me that the best tactic is to wait until William is 3 or so and then introduce speaking French as a new game that he plays with daddy, working up to songs and story books as he gains confidence and acquires sufficient vocabulary.


Charlie Dad to William (18/06/02)
Dad & Mum ENG


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Monolingual upbringing: encouraging early adoption of 2nd language

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