Google+ Raising a Trilingual Child: How much time do we have to influence a child's minority language development?


Monday, June 10, 2013

How much time do we have to influence a child's minority language development?

Our children grow becoming more independent, detached from us, parents. At about age of 4 children have their new world established with the best friends, teachers they love, whom they try to copy.

This world is growing, flourishing alongside our children. From this point of time, the vocabulary in the country language increases with a greater speed; thus, majority language starts slowly taking over.

This fact needs to be taking into a consideration when we set our language goals and develop an action plan for a child. The understanding that we have limited time, about 4 years after birth, can help us to choose the best possible action plan.

We might need to sacrifice ourselves in some way: no TV, no music in the majority language, if the child is around. It will pay off later.

I had to create dominantly Russian language environment at home, by providing various entertainment to the children: Russian children's songs, beautiful Russian and foreign, doubt in Russian, cartoons and the pillar - Russian books that I read them everyday two times a day, when possible. I speak English to my husband, that also limits the majority language "intake".

My son is 4 and his Russian vocabulary allows him to speak to me without borrowing words from the dominant language - Italian. The reality is that it will change at some point and he will start code-switching. The only thing I am confident in is that the later he starts, the better it is for him.

Update: My son is 5 years old - still no code-switching and can say the same for 3 years old daughter.

You might also like:

Being proactive in exposing your child to the new vocabulary 

How to prepare yourself to be a speaking model for your child.

Teaching the letter sounds before letter names.

How to develop early phonemic awareness and reading readiness by using language play with kids from birth to preschool. 

No comments:

Post a Comment