? about introducing 2nd language /repost

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
? about introducing 2nd language /repost
Thu, 03-27-2003 - 3:21am
This is a repost for bethwl. I don't think you can reply to posts archived before the new boards. Heather S


Best way to introduce second language?

I am new here, looking for advice on introducing a second language to my baby (due in August). Both my husband and I are American--he speaks only English fluently (but is trying to learn French through classes), and I am quasi-fluent in French. I took many years of French in school and have spent months at a time there, both for college study and because my parents lived in Paris for several years. For years I have felt on the edge of becoming fluent; I feel like all I would really need to do is live there for 6 months and I'd be set. So my question is about introducing French to our baby when neither my husband or I is a native speaker. I have read research claiming that it is best to have one parent speak English and the other to speak the second language exclusively. This doesn't make sense for us, because it would be tiring for me to speak only French to our child, and my lack of complete fluency wouldn't allow me to fully express myself. Right now I am just planning on saying French words to our child at times (like pointing to my nose and saying nose in French sometimes and in English other times), reading French children's books, and listening to French music. Is this going to help at all? I am hoping to send our child to a private French-language school here in Chicago for preschool, but it's probably going to be cost-prohibitive to continue that through high school. Any advice or personal experiences greatly appreciated! Thanks.