Bilingual Babies — The Bump
November 2015 Moms

Bilingual Babies

Or multilingual

Does anyone here speak any other languages? Do you plan on teaching your little one or have you with your others?
How do you go about it or plan on going about it?
Do you have any programs you've heard about or tried?

Lately I've just been doing vowel sounds in English then in Spanish.
Obviously it'll be awhile before he actually saying words in either language, but just to get a feel for the sounds that's what I'm trying. My mom talks to him in Spanish a lot as well.

Re: Bilingual Babies

  • I used to teach Spanish to K-8 grade students. I can tell you the best way to ensure multilingual abilities is to start as early as possible. You "teach" both languages the same way - just talk to them in either/both language. They probably won't know which language is which for a while and will probably go "Spanglish" but that's okay. I know one family whose kids are all bilingual because mom always spoke to them in English and dad always spoke Spanish.

    The kindergarteners I taught picked up the language so much faster than my 8th graders
    makeoutside7MercyC1130
  • Bumping because I'm very interested in this also.

    OP I'm starting to teach my 3 years old Spanish (my grandfather is part Panamanian but I speak NYC public school Spanish lol) and we've been using flash cards and Dora... not the best approach but in two weeks he already speaks and comprehends better than I. The preschool he will attend in the fall has an immersion program so they will do the heavy lifting and I'll reinforce what he learned at home.

    Also, my best friends niece went to China for the summer when she was 3 or 4 and came back speaking Mandarin flawlessly, so to @rachswi point the earlier the better
    MercyC1130
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  • I am teaching my daughter the way I was taught. Simultaneously, Hmong at home and English at school from infancy. Her daycare teacher speaks French and will be teaching her French when she is in her care. Hoping to raise a trilingual child!

      FTM due 11/06/2015
    Married 09/21/2013
    MercyC1130
  • My husband and I speak conversational Spanish (not fluent) and have been speaking to babe in Spanish as well, mostly colors and numbers. I hope I can get her in a bilingual school so she learns better than I did. I think it's so important to learn another language and definitely the younger you start the better!
    makeoutside7MercyC1130
  • turkeybabtturkeybabt member
    edited January 2016
    My LO will be growing up in an American Sign Language home, he will not have any spoken English language at home because he will get that with his grandparents and with others outside of the home. He will be bilingual like his aunts and momma.

    Researches have shown that bi/multilingual children have better critical reasoning and problem solving skills- they also are able to learn a new language easier later in life and they are able to adjust to different cultures with little effort compared to monolingual children/adults.
    dramaphileMercyC1130VexedMommy
  • I speak in both english and spanish to my son. I've also ordered some books to try and get some ASL in there.
    MercyC1130
  • We'll be speaking both ASL and English to LO, as in house that's what DH and I already do. We're fully expecting her to sign much earlier than speak and can't wait.
    MercyC1130
  • My SO and I plan to speak to LO mainly in Spanish at home, because she will pick up English from other places. I am not quite fluent, but since I am making an effort to become fluent this seems like a great idea. We already talk to her in both.
    MercyC1130
  • My husband speaks to LO in Dutch, and I speak to her in Spanish. However, my husband and I speak English to each other, and watch TV in English aswell.
    MercyC1130
  • I speak to my LO in Spanish and my DH speaks to him in English. My side of the family only speaks to him in Spanish as well. We have books in both languages and we sing to him in both languages as well.
    MercyC1130
  • I love this!

    For those with experience, or just your thoughts; do you think a child will learn another language faster/better if each parent sticks exclusively to one language?

    @sadyy131 That's where I'm at too. My Spanish was never very good, but I want my baby to speak it, so what better time for me to brush up!
  • I love this!

    For those with experience, or just your thoughts; do you think a child will learn another language faster/better if each parent sticks exclusively to one language?

    @sadyy131 That's where I'm at too. My Spanish was never very good, but I want my baby to speak it, so what better time for me to brush up!

    Exactly! My in laws only speak Spanish, so on top of learning so I can communicate with them, I think being a bilingual child is great. My parents never spoke to us in their languages and it is one of their many regrets today
    MercyC1130
  • I visit my mom a lot so she speaks to her in Spanish. Same with my in laws. At home when I say a sentence in English I sometimes repeat it in Spanish. I'm hoping that all of that put together will give my LO the exposure she needs to be almost fluent! :smile:
    MercyC1130
  • My daughters are bilingual. Arabic and English. Husband speaks only arabic to them and I speak only English to them. They're learning English at school and I'm teaching them arabic grammar and writing and stuff at home. That way it won't only speak but know proper language and writing. It's important for us since I have family that speaks only English and his only arabic so the girls switch based on who they're talking to. I'm so happy we decided to make them bilingual. And I agree the earlier the better.
    MercyC1130
  • I'm going to teach my LO some asl words as well as Spanish. I am not fluent in either, but I minored in Spanish and took several asl courses, so I have the basics down. I already talk to LO in English & Spanish now, and plan to start introducing 5 or so asl signs around 4 months.
    LivHamidMercyC1130
  • My daughters are bilingual. Arabic and English. Husband speaks only arabic to them and I speak only English to them. They're learning English at school and I'm teaching them arabic grammar and writing and stuff at home. That way it won't only speak but know proper language and writing. It's important for us since I have family that speaks only English and his only arabic so the girls switch based on who they're talking to. I'm so happy we decided to make them bilingual. And I agree the earlier the better.

    My husband is also going to speak to our son in Arabic and I English, some Spanish and baby Sign Language. ASL is so awesome with young children. I did it years ago when I was a nanny and found it helpful.
  • I plan to begin ASL with my LO.  My 9yr old with language and hyperactivity problems may also benefit from a more physical/visual expression of language as well.  My intention is for DD1 and I to learn ASL together so we can both teach it to DD2.  

    I would love to work with both girls more with Spanish as well.  Someone mentioned Dora not being a great way to help kids learn Spanish, but I disagree.  A number of my friends who know multiple languages said they learned it from television.  One friend has suggested that the best way for me to learn Spanish would be to watch telenovelas.  You get the visual cues plus the words from watching tv/movies in other languages. 
    If there's something strange underneath the hood.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  If there's something weird and it don't look good.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  Immediately.  If it's new, painful, and possibly pregnancy related get your ass off the internet and call your doctor.  It's for your health and your child's. 




  • I'm almost fluent in Spanish and my dad, older sister, and uncles are all fluent so they talk only to DS in Spanish. I Say words to him in Spanish and show him what I said, be it a color, object, action, or item, then I say it in English and repeat showing him it. DH only speaks English but knows some ASL and has been showing LO signs as well. DH and I are also currently learning Russian and French as well so once we become more experienced in those languages we will try and teach LO too.
    MercyC1130
  • LivHamid said:

    My daughters are bilingual. Arabic and English. Husband speaks only arabic to them and I speak only English to them. They're learning English at school and I'm teaching them arabic grammar and writing and stuff at home. That way it won't only speak but know proper language and writing. It's important for us since I have family that speaks only English and his only arabic so the girls switch based on who they're talking to. I'm so happy we decided to make them bilingual. And I agree the earlier the better.

    My husband is also going to speak to our son in Arabic and I English, some Spanish and baby Sign Language. ASL is so awesome with young children. I did it years ago when I was a nanny and found it helpful.
    I wish I knew ASL. Maybe I'll study some basics and incorporate that.
    MercyC1130
  • I used to know quite a bit, basic vocabulary, asl.
    Definitely going to start incorporating.

    I have a baby signs book I scored at a thrift store too! In it, it says that until baby is six months, it's kind of pointless to incorporate signs.
    Any thoughts?
  • I used to know quite a bit, basic vocabulary, asl.
    Definitely going to start incorporating.

    I have a baby signs book I scored at a thrift store too! In it, it says that until baby is six months, it's kind of pointless to incorporate signs.
    Any thoughts?

    My book says the same. It wouldn't hurt to sign earlier, but I don't think baby will benefit from it either. It's different than if baby was learning ASL as an entire language, baby signs is more associating sign with spoken word. The recommendation is to start baby sign at 6 months and baby will begin signing back once they have the hand control, usually at 8 or 9 months.
    MercyC1130
  • I used to know quite a bit, basic vocabulary, asl.
    Definitely going to start incorporating.

    I have a baby signs book I scored at a thrift store too! In it, it says that until baby is six months, it's kind of pointless to incorporate signs.
    Any thoughts?

    Everything I read said to start around 4 months, but they may not have the motor control to make signs until 6 months.
    MercyC1130
  • I'm a big proponent of signing now. Yes, as hearing people we're trying to connect a sign with a word but within Deaf culture using it around babies is no different then us speaking to babies. Babies get curious about the hand movement and will start to see that a connection is trying to be made with mom and dad using their hands. To me it's just another way to stimulate and interact. My teachers (all deaf and living in Deaf Culture, as well as some friends) all really encouraged me to sign just as much as I speak since day one with DD.
    MercyC1130
  • Lolo427 said:
    I'm a big proponent of signing now. Yes, as hearing people we're trying to connect a sign with a word but within Deaf culture using it around babies is no different then us speaking to babies. Babies get curious about the hand movement and will start to see that a connection is trying to be made with mom and dad using their hands. To me it's just another way to stimulate and interact. My teachers (all deaf and living in Deaf Culture, as well as some friends) all really encouraged me to sign just as much as I speak since day one with DD.
    This.  Also, it's a behavior you want to begin.  The better established the behavior, the more likely you will be to stick with it when baby CAN understand and repeat the signs back to you.  Just turn it into a habit that when you say please, you sign please.  When you ask for food or drink you sign for food or drink.  
    If there's something strange underneath the hood.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  If there's something weird and it don't look good.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  Immediately.  If it's new, painful, and possibly pregnancy related get your ass off the internet and call your doctor.  It's for your health and your child's. 




    MercyC1130
  • Lolo427 said:

    I'm a big proponent of signing now. Yes, as hearing people we're trying to connect a sign with a word but within Deaf culture using it around babies is no different then us speaking to babies. Babies get curious about the hand movement and will start to see that a connection is trying to be made with mom and dad using their hands. To me it's just another way to stimulate and interact. My teachers (all deaf and living in Deaf Culture, as well as some friends) all really encouraged me to sign just as much as I speak since day one with DD.

    Great points! This makes a lot more sense to me when you put it like this.
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