Hi, I need some help

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2003
Hi, I need some help
1
Mon, 06-02-2008 - 5:03pm
Hi,
I've posted a few times before but it's been a while.
I am French and lived in the US for 6 years, I am now seperated and have a 4yo DD (born in the US) and a 4mo born in France, we have bassically no contact with my husband.
Mina (DD#1) didn't speak French when we arrived back in July, she understood it and could only say a few words, she speaks French fluently now but the problem is that she is forgetting English and refuses to speak it most of the time, all her cartoons are in English and I try to speak English to her as much as possible but she almost always responds in French, I keep telling her to talk English when we are home and to speak English to me when I address to her in English but she forgets or doesn't want to most of the time, and she is really starting to forget it, she forgets easy words such as kitchen and talks like she did when she was 2 (she was a very early talker but was making mistakes with pronouciation).
Now I have a new baby girl, although she doesn't know her father, she is French/American and I would love for her to speak English as well so I speak to her mostly in English (I forget sometimes but really try not to) and Mina tells everybody to speak English to her sister but when I tell her to also speak English to her all she does is stick her face in front of her sister's face and says Hi 20x, so I try to tell her to not just say that to her because it's a bit annoying to just hear hi all the time so then she just says "what are you doing" over and over.
I really don't want Mina to completely lose her English and I would really love for Layla to also speak English but how can I accouplish that when English is not my language?

Elise


Mina 01/27/04


Layla 02/05/08

Elise

Mina 01/27/04

Layla 02/05/08

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Tue, 06-03-2008 - 1:29pm
I'm glad to see you again, Elise. Do I understand correctly that you are back in France now? Never having been to France, I don't know from first hand experience, but could you use a sitter who speaks in English or maybe take your dc to an English-language playgroup. Now I have read about parents doing bilingual parenting in a language other than their first language; in fact, I'm doing it- I'm doing "one parent, one language" with me speaking non-native German. I would say that you should continue speaking English to your dd if you're comfortable with it, even if your older DD responds to you in French. She will eventually use English with you if you strive to be consistent with your English. Also you can continue working on your English; I work on my German every single day.
Good luck. Remember, you can do it, you can give your dc English.
Love and Light, Joelle
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Love and Light, Joelle
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