August 2013 Moms

Multilingual households STM+ question

Anyone raising their child in a multilingual household? My husband is Turkish and I am American. He speaks to her in Turkish and I speak to her in English. She says few words. She understand pretty much everything we say. But in reality no words. She used to say baba and mama all the time but stopped that. She even would say baby but doesn?t really say it anymore. Just curious what others experiences were? Everything I have read says that a delay in speaking is normal, my pedi told me it was normal and to expect much until 18 months. But I read ONE LOUSY article and it said a delay isn?t necessarily normal in a multilingual household. So of course the one article has erased all logic in my brain. Any thoughts?
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Re: Multilingual households STM+ question

  • Like everything else my two girls were so different when it came to talking Dd1 understood but didn't say much of anything till 2.  While dd2 is already speaking small sentences at 22months.  Dh and MIL speak to them in Italian and I mostly use English. 

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  • My friends daughter, who is now 6, was raised speaking two languages...I don't know if she had a delay or not, but I can tell you that she is one of the smartest in her class... Excellent reading and writing skills...above her grade level... I would think that has to do with the two languages.. It may take more time cause they're processing two languages?? I'm not sure. But having two languages nowadays is a huge advantage!!
  • How old is she? I'm a Lead teacher in a preschool, so we have lots of resources about this. In NC, all childcare workers are familiar with Infant/Toddler Foundations. It lets us know what to expect and how to spot out a delay. Some call it the childcare bible. Just keep in mind that each child develops at his/her own rate, so just because she's not able to do everything in the book yet doesn't mean that she wont be able to...it's just at her own pace. 

     Here's the link:

     

     http://ncchildcare.dhhs.state.nc.us/pdf_forms/dcd_infant_toddler_early_foundations.pdf

  • image jessie1516:

    How old is she? I'm a Lead teacher in a preschool, so we have lots of resources about this. In NC, all childcare workers are familiar with Infant/Toddler Foundations. It lets us know what to expect and how to spot out a delay. Some call it the childcare bible. Just keep in mind that each child develops at his/her own rate, so just because she's not able to do everything in the book yet doesn't mean that she wont be able to...it's just at her own pace. 

     Here's the link:

     

     http://ncchildcare.dhhs.state.nc.us/pdf_forms/dcd_infant_toddler_early_foundations.pdf

     Thanks for the link! she just turned 14 months on the 24th.

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  • My husband's cousin's mother is Swedish, and father is Israeli. They spoke to him  in Swedish, Hebrew & English from infancy - he didn't say anything but gibberish until he was 2+. Now he's an audacious & smartypants 6 year old who speaks 3 languages.

    We're planning on teaching ours English & Hebrew from the get go. I've always been told to expect delayed speech, but I can understand how the reality of it freaks you out.

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  • I speak Spanish fluently and use it every day at work, DH however, does not, he knows typical food and object phrases and there are certain words I use in Spanish with DD but her primary language is definitely English.  We are going to try to do better with #2 and hope to get DD into the Spanish Charter school we have locally for kindergarten (but as of now, they start at first grade) but know that is a ways off.  I grew up in a truly bilingual household and am the yongest of 4 siblings and none of us had delays and in fact excelled in school.

  • I've also heard that there can be a delay in speaking for children in multilingual households.  DH is fluent in English and Spanish but because I don't speak Spanish he doesn't use it as much as he'd truly need to for her to really be picking up a ton of Spanish right now so we didn't notice much of a delay in her speaking English.  However, she has yet to say a single word in Spanish.  She understands basic phrases that H says to her all the time but won't say anything back.  How old is your LO? Does she understand what you're telling her?  I've heard that when they are working on motor skills, their language skills can take a backseat so that may be why she stopped saying baba and mama. 
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  • She's 14 months and she did start walking about 2 weeks ago and now she is full fledged walking. She completely understands what we say. If I say to her bring me the baby doll, she brings it to me. If my husband says bring me the ball in Turkish she brings him the ball. She definitely has receptive skills down. I shouldn't worry, because her pedi said it's fine. But I can't help it. especially when people bring it up.
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  • My husband is also Turkish! My Turkish sucks, but I expect that my husband will make sure our child speaks his language and learns his culture. He's been here 1 year tomorrow. So he is still learning English himself. I do have a concern of learning delay and my husband and our child having their own secrete language. Am I being stupid?
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  • image sabrinatolga:
    My husband is also Turkish! My Turkish sucks, but I expect that my husband will make sure our child speaks his language and learns his culture. He's been here 1 year tomorrow. So he is still learning English himself. I do have a concern of learning delay and my husband and our child having their own secrete language. Am I being stupid?
    How long have you guys been together? Truthfully, I'm around my husband and his friends all the time and they speak Tukish. I am so used to it. However, i did buy the Rosetta Stone and I'm in the process of learning. I'm not afraid of them having a secret language because as long as my daughter can understand and speak to me, I don't see them hiding anything from me. I'm glad she will know another language. Especially one that isnt' extremely popular.
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  • I work in early intervention so I see kids all day long with speech delays, including multi language households.

    Most kids in bilingual households are a little slower to talk, but once they learn both languages they are head of their peers.  For a child to be considered to be delayed in their speech, it can't be because of a bilingual household. It can be tricky sometimes to figure out which is the reason your child isn't talking, however I wouldn't worry about it if your pediatrician isn't concerned.

    How old is your daughter?  

     

    Even if your daughter does have a speech delay it really isn't that big of a deal. It's significant she is understanding so much.  There are SO many kids that have been on my caseload with speech delays who were caught up to age level by the time early intervention ends at age three and turn out fine.  

  • We will be raising our child multilingual.  Everything I have read said that children who are raised multilingual (or even bilingual) generally begin talking a little later than kids who just grow up with one language.  I have several friends and relatives who spoke multiple languages to their children and they all spoke later. I would honestly not worry about it at all.  
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  • Oops, just read the rest of the responses saying she's 14 mos.

    by he age she should have a few words OR signs....in either language.

     This really isn't something to worry yourself a lot with though.  Here are some common strategies given to parents of kids that aren't talking enough that you can do at home:

     

    -look at books with her and talk about the pictures

    -speak in short 2-3 word sentences, talking about what you're doing and what she's doing throughout the day.

    -pick a few key baby signs to use when you say the word (may help her to pair the motor action with the word)

    -encourage her to attempt to use words....try not to always just anticipate her needs.

    -praise the effort even if it sounds nothing like the actual word.

     

     

    Let me know if you have other questions, I've been doing this for nearly 4 years now so I feel pretty confident in child development with kids under three. 

  • image atyler727:

    Oops, just read the rest of the responses saying she's 14 mos.

    by he age she should have a few words OR signs....in either language.

     This really isn't something to worry yourself a lot with though.  Here are some common strategies given to parents of kids that aren't talking enough that you can do at home:

     

    -look at books with her and talk about the pictures

    -speak in short 2-3 word sentences, talking about what you're doing and what she's doing throughout the day.

    -pick a few key baby signs to use when you say the word (may help her to pair the motor action with the word)

    -encourage her to attempt to use words....try not to always just anticipate her needs.

    -praise the effort even if it sounds nothing like the actual word.

     

     

    Let me know if you have other questions, I've been doing this for nearly 4 years now so I feel pretty confident in child development with kids under three. 

    I do a lot of that now. Except for signing. She does point and will indicate when she wants something. She "talks" but just not anything that makes sense. I'm going to give it until the 18 months like her Pedi said and if no progress by then I will see about taking her to a specialist.
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  • image Jomojack2:
    image atyler727:

    Oops, just read the rest of the responses saying she's 14 mos.

    by he age she should have a few words OR signs....in either language.

     This really isn't something to worry yourself a lot with though.  Here are some common strategies given to parents of kids that aren't talking enough that you can do at home:

     

    -look at books with her and talk about the pictures

    -speak in short 2-3 word sentences, talking about what you're doing and what she's doing throughout the day.

    -pick a few key baby signs to use when you say the word (may help her to pair the motor action with the word)

    -encourage her to attempt to use words....try not to always just anticipate her needs.

    -praise the effort even if it sounds nothing like the actual word.

     

     

    Let me know if you have other questions, I've been doing this for nearly 4 years now so I feel pretty confident in child development with kids under three. 

    I do a lot of that now. Except for signing. She does point and will indicate when she wants something. She "talks" but just not anything that makes sense. I'm going to give it until the 18 months like her Pedi said and if no progress by then I will see about taking her to a specialist.

     

    good, that means you're doing a good job as a mommy! :)   Some people, believe it or not, don't realize they're supposed to talk to and play with their kids....

  • We've been together about 3 years. I've been to turkey several times. I understand enough to get by. And I speak French and a little polish myself. When I was a kid my father stopped speaking polish to me at home so I had a better chance in school. In Canada where I grew up French was kinda necessary. So that helped. It would drive my mom crazy when my dad would give me instructions in polish and I would do what he asked. So I'm not concerned with my husband sharing his culture, I'm just going to have to deal with it I guess. I've been using Byki to study Turkish too. I just wish my husband was as patient at teaching me Turkish as I am at helping him with his English. I wish there were classes near me.

    Pretty cool meeting another mom with similar background :) nice to meet you. I'm Sabrina.

    image Jomojack2:
    image sabrinatolga:
    My husband is also Turkish! My Turkish sucks, but I expect that my husband will make sure our child speaks his language and learns his culture. He's been here 1 year tomorrow. So he is still learning English himself. I do have a concern of learning delay and my husband and our child having their own secrete language. Am I being stupid?


    How long have you guys been together? Truthfully, I'm around my husband and his friends all the time and they speak Tukish. I am so used to it. However, i did buy the Rosetta Stone and I'm in the process of learning. I'm not afraid of them having a secret language because as long as my daughter can understand and speak to me, I don't see them hiding anything from me. I'm glad she will know another language. Especially one that isnt' extremely popular.
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