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Not teaching your child second language

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Latvia
Timeline

Vent:

So I am the only rare bird around here, everyone speaks English around me, I have friends and my kid has friends and we are social butterflies.

Now, needless to say, since I do not have environment to expose her, and we speak English at home, I have not been able to teach her my birth language.

Firstly I am having troubles to find modern materials. And also probably time and well, because, you know - life.

Because I started working next day I was home after my C -section, instead of having a year long maternity leave. Worrying about language living on 4 hours of sleep was last thing on my mind. And then it just, well, went on. Working mom with plenty of obligations and extracurricular activities, laundry and dinner too, and English speaking friends, that project always was pushed into back burner.

 

While many here might understand my struggle, for some reason it seems people back at my country are such proud nationalists, that it seems they think that language is genetic, or you get infected with it like a virus, while joking, it almost seems that way, at least in the eyes of the ones who stay, mostly older generation.

The generation that left , the newer world wanderers, and did not teach them language somehow are failures. That it is bad enough to betray and leave, but I did not even have the shame to make it my priority. They just say - but you need to speak. Yap, that is just how it happens. IN the middle of my wonderful relationship with my kiddo , I am just going to start speaking and problem solved. Not! It gets so tiresome to listen to their patronizing and useless advice about teaching, you know, that pretty much consists of " you do not try hard enough and just speak". The problem is that the same outdated generation or the cranky ones who have not been beyond the borders, is the one that develops teaching materials, and there is pretty much no material that I could use, say on ipad, that would assume that that language is now a second language, and you gotta start from zero. And in reality, it is exposure and environment that teaches the most, when she is old enough to go to some camp, kids pick up from other kids completely effortlessly. They just can not accept it and get over it, that if it is not around me, I am alone against the avalanche, and they just do not get it - like at all. And yes, I am not trying too hard. Because I love my bond with her, and our bonds with our friends, and they all happen in English.

Rant over.

 


07/29/2006 – I-129 sent to Vermont

08/04/2006 - NOA1

08/28/2006 - NOA2 - approved

09/01/2006 - NVC - approved

09/07/2006 - Warsaw embassy sent packet 3 (damn post services, never received any)

09/18/2006 - packet 3 sent (Nothing fails)

09/27 - received packet 4

10/10 - medical exam

10/19 - INTERVIEW!

10/20 - received visa

11/7 - arrived in USA, POE YFK

1/19 - Married

02/23/2007 - Civil Surgeon (checked just vaccines for $ 25)

05/04/2007 - AOS package sent to Chicago

05/11/2007 - NOA1

05/15/2007 - NOA2 - ASC appointment letter about biometrics

05/24/2007 - RFE about tax forms w-2 and 1099!!!

06/05/2007 - Biometrics

21/06/2007 - NOA3 - Transfered to California

10/07/2007 - AOS approved, card production ordered!!!

19/07/2007 - Half year marriage anniversary - GC arrives!!!

07/08/2009 - Package sent (My cover letter 40 peaces of evidence)

07/14/2009 - check was cashed

07/10/2009 - NOA 1 received, GK extended for a year

07/17/2009 - received biometrics letter with my case number

08/06/2009 - scheduled biometrics appointment

11/16/2009 - approval

12/01/2009 - touched - card production ordered

2/26/2010 - got ten year card

No more departures!!!

No more typing!!!

Ne mirkli Tu neesi atstājis manas domas,

Tā, ka manas domas aizmirsa pat aizmirstību.

Mīļotais ir ienācis manā teltī,

Un mana sirds ir mulsas pārņemta.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

You might be surprised how much the young ones pick up simply from hearing it.

Mrs. T-B. spoke Spanish to Mini-Bone from birth, and he can communicate rather well in it now.

Merely relating our personal experience.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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My experience is similar to the Family T-Bone. I was raised bilingually. Each parent spoke to us only in their language. You don’t really need materials to teach a child so young. No language is difficult for a child to learn. Babies all over the world all learn the language of their caregivers at roughly the same speed. 

 

It’s rare that children who learn so young will confuse the two languages also. Some people think it’s making them learn too much at a young age to give them input in two languages but it’s not “learning” for them like it is for an adult. If you have time to spare, read about the “critical period hypothesis”. 


 

 

 

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How you raise your child, the language you choose to speak to them are solely you and your partners choice. The family might be well meaning and truly concerned for the child, but, if the child doesn't pick it up and still is a social butterfly, no harm, no foul. Sounds like a happy well adjusted kid to me.

 

My ex wife's parents chided her because we chose to raise our kids in both the Protestant and Catholic church, then we didn't make the girls girly enough, didn't matter the kids preferred sports to ballet and tap, the wanted little princesses, oh well ...

 

Do what makes you and your kids happy, the family will come around or not, why add a stressor to your life

 


 

 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Uruguay
Timeline

Wouldn't Duolingo may have the language? It have good learning materials.


K-1 Visa process (I'm the USC [F])

Spoiler

 

Sent packet: August 10, 2018

USCIS Received package: August 14, 2018
Notification in text/email: August 17, 2018
Mail received from USCIS: January 22, 2019
USCIS Approved I-129F Petition: January 17, 2019

NVC Received Case: February 14, 2019

NVC Case # Assigned: February 14, 2019

US Embassy Received: Not sure but got email reply - March 11, 2019
Instructions Received via e-mail: March 19, 2019

Interview: May 7, 2019 - Approved!
Arriving to US/POE: June 12, 2019
Married July 15, 2019

 

AOS Process
Sent packet: July 27, 2019
USCIS Received Package: July 29, 2019
[Hiccup] Package was sent back due to incorrect fee and sent on August 5, 2019.
Notification in text/email: August 12, 2019 @ 12:30AM
Check cashed: August 12, 2019
NOA 1 Mail: August 16, 2019
Biometric: September 5, 2019 @ Atlanta, GA

AOS RFIE: Sept. 28, 2019 - got in mail by Oct 3, 2019. [They lost my Husband's Birth Certificate]
Sent back AOS RFIE: Oct 16, at office by Oct 17.
AOS Case update notice on April 9th, waiting for mail.
Interview date: ??? I'm hoping it's in October!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Denmark
Timeline

No, you are not alone.

 

Spanish might be able to be picked up easily, but there are languages that require more than casual introduction by a parent. Danish is one of those. Perhaps Latvian is too. 

 

Our children don't speak Danish. What they can understand, they do so at an extremely immature level relative to their ages.  I have one of the Netflix accounts set to Danish, but who would think that in the several sentences a day spoken to them in Danish that they'd learn it?  They haven't and it is easier just to communicate with them in English, especially given that they are all linguistically behind (just slow developers with all things). We gave up Danish with the oldest when we moved back to America and she couldn't communicate in either language properly. She was lightyears behind her peers at that point, why make it worse?

 

Anyways, despite me learning Danish for 7 years on and off, I'm still better at French and I'd probably be better at just about any other language given a few months.

Edited by N-o-l-a

3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Denmark
Timeline
On 6/2/2019 at 7:23 AM, JFH said:

 

It’s rare that children who learn so young will confuse the two languages also. Some people think it’s making them learn too much at a young age to give them input in two languages but it’s not “learning” for them like it is for an adult. If you have time to spare, read about the “critical period hypothesis”. 

 

I haven't found this is true for languages that are closely related.  A classic issue my daughter had and now my son has was/is confusing things like the following: "over here" with "her ovre". It sounds close enough that it gets muddled between the two languages to the point that they speak neither properly.


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Algeria
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On 6/2/2019 at 12:33 AM, TBoneTX said:

You might be surprised how much the young ones pick up simply from hearing it.

Mrs. T-B. spoke Spanish to Mini-Bone from birth, and he can communicate rather well in it now.

Merely relating our personal experience.

 

7 hours ago, N-o-l-a said:

 

I haven't found this is true for languages that are closely related.  A classic issue my daughter had and now my son has was/is confusing things like the following: "over here" with "her ovre". It sounds close enough that it gets muddled between the two languages to the point that they speak neither properly.

I agree with both of you. I have been an educator of small children for the last ten years.....and from my experience.....children who live in a bi lingual household or even a tri lingual household speak English slower (not because the child is “slow” in learning English but because they are constantly translating) so the child in a multi lingual house actually starts speaking at age 3 or 4. In addition.....children under the age of five learn languages quickly so this is the time to expose your child to different languages.

Edited by janet3
Small screen and old person with glasses

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Netherlands
Timeline

No own experience on the topic, but I do have a few friends who live abroad with a partner whose mother tongue is different to theirs. I guess it's easier for parents to decide that each is going to speak solely their mother tongue to their children so that the kids learn both languages. The problem is when the parents don't speak both languages coz it creates a barrier between them. On the other hand I would certainly support any parent to teach their child their mother tongue, as it's a part of your culture and learning another language at a young age stimulates the development of the language (learning) skills in general, so definitely a pro! Good luck :D 


"Life is a journey." At this moment, it's taking me to the USA to the woman I love.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: France
Timeline

If you want to teach your native language to your kids, I do think (and I have read about it) that it is important to start from their birth and be consistent. If you never spoke to your child in your native language until their are 3 or more years old, they will be quite proficient in english by that age and will not understand why all of a sudden they can't understand you and will be fustrated (and you too because they won't listen). If you speak your language sometimes, and english other times, the child will be confused as at this age they can not comprehend that these are two different languages. But they can comprehend that you speak a certain way and your partner another and their are fine with that. For me it's impotant that I can speak french to my kids because it's part of who I am and even though I am fluent in english, I can not express myself with the same precision and nuance as in french as my vocabulary is more limited. But every family is different and no one should tell you what you should or shouldn't do, it's a personnal choice.

 

We moved to France from Autsralia when our son was 6 months old. I have always spoken to him in French and my wife in english. He could understand both languages as early as other kids understand one but he has been slow to start speaking (but was still very communicative, in other ways, sometimes very creative). When he started saying a few word, some were in french, some in english, it seemed like he picked the shortest/easiest to pronounce. He was going to daycare a couple of days a week but otherwise was with my wife as i worked and she wasn't up until he was 2 and a half. Then he started preschool 4 days a week and he improved a lot but after a year he is still far behind other kids. He now speaks mostly french and my wife can understand him but always repeats what he says in english. We are now moving to the US, we'll see what happens. We also have a 1 and a half year old who is just staring to say her first words, I'm curious to see haw she will developp her language skills. We also have friends in France who have a son 1 month younger than ours. The dad is french and works full time like me, the mum is from Argentina and stays at home with the kid. She speaks spanish to him (although she's also fluent in french)  and he hasn't gone to day care or preschool. He speaks both french and spanish and doesn't mix them. So I think it is just that some kids develop their language skills slower than other and not necessarily due to being mono or bilingual. It's more due to their personality, our kids are very different in that matter. Like some will be very good at sport from a young age and have good coordination, others will be still be useless as adults and it's not only about training. 

 

 

Edited by JulienR

For our story, look at my profile.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Vietnam
Timeline

I’ve been monitoring my son - wife speaks Vietnamese and Chinese to him. However he speaks English 99% and been chattering away since he was 2. I find reading to him daily really expands his vocabulary and brain power.

 

 


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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: France
Timeline

I have read too that a child might favor one language at first specially if a large majority of people around him speak that language and the person who speaks a second language to him understands the first one. But they still train their ear and build up their vocabulary in the second language so one should not stop. One day they will realize the value of a second language and will start to speak it...or not. But in the end, you cannot (and sould not) force a child to speak another language as this could actually have the opposite of the intended effect and deter them from trying later as they will have a negative image associated with that language. Imagine if someone told you that you had to learn a language in which you have no interest? In the end it's not only about what the parents want but also about want the child wants and we can merely nudge and support hem.

Edited by JulienR

For our story, look at my profile.

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I mean theres nothing wrong with not teaching them a second language. You wouldn't really be committing a crime, they might find it cool to be bilingual when they're older but it doesn't matter that much aside from the few obvious perks (e.g being able to speak Latvian as one. Lol.)

 

A lot of Mexican-American children can't speak Spanish but understand it great. A lot of them wish they could know it, but it doesn't hinder them. Don't listen to people from your home country you're not doing any harm to your child and its your choice.

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