ciao!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2006
ciao!
5
Fri, 04-24-2009 - 9:35am

hey there! just found this board, although i'm a very active member of the TTC grad board...

anyways, i'm american, dh is italian, we live near milan and have one son - alessandro (ale, alex) who is almost 20 mos old). i teach english to italians and would say that 60% of the time to ale is in english and the rest in italian (which i'm quite fluent in - 12 yrs here)...

i tend to speak to him at home in english - and if the people i'm around understand it, and when we are out and about (especially at grma's where he spends 4 days a week) he is totally surrounded in italian...

i know he understand english perfectly, uses i'd say about 20-30 words in english but the rest in all italian... he's starting to form italian sentences (simple ones) but there's nothing like that in english yet...

any advice or BTDT stories for me??? he uses both languages interchangebly- so one time he'll say birdie and the next uccelino... tv is almost always in english --- besides him understand english i really want him to use it too...

thanks!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
In reply to: italyjessie
Sat, 04-25-2009 - 7:03am

Welcome to the board! Your son is so cute! :)

That sounds pretty normal to me. I doubt you need to do anything at all. My girl isn't talking yet but I know other families here and the kids all speak Danish (the majority language) at first and eventually start speaking the minority language(s) later. At 2, I wouldn't expect sentence-building in both languages yet.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2006
In reply to: italyjessie
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 8:11am
thanks- just gotta say - your siggy is freakin adorable!!!!
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Avatar for prinsessa
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
In reply to: italyjessie
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 1:45pm

Welcome to the Board!

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


Avatar for rollmops2009
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2009
In reply to: italyjessie
Mon, 04-27-2009 - 5:13am

It is normal and you must not give up. Many parents give up and resign themselves to having the kids answer in the other language.

Things that help are:

To read, read, read to him in English and talk to him about what is in the book (i.e. ask him where the bear is, that sort of thing, talk about the pictures). I read aloud to dd every single night till she was 12;

Spend time in the US or Britain with him. It is important that he experience a community of English speakers. Language is social by definition and around age 2 is when kids really discover community and suss out that mom, in your case, is speaking the wrong lingo (compared to the community). You can also try to get into an American play group, English-language daycare or some such. Check with the consulate and US women's associations (like American Women Abroad) to make some contacts;

Press him to speak English to you. If he says something to you in Italian, don't answer, but repeat back to him in English, as in "Do you mean ... ?" As his vocab expands, refuse to answer unless he addresses you in English. This is hard to do and many parents (like my dh) give up at some point.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2006
In reply to: italyjessie
Wed, 04-29-2009 - 8:20am

I am american, married to italian living near Varese. We have a son who is 26 months (and another on the way) and just starting to say 'mamma, daddy, ciao, grazie' and 'more'. So all in all I think that it is fairly normal. One thing that I have heard is to be insistant with the english. Also if you guys watch movies at all, watch them in english.


good luck with it!


By the way, my email is bellaciao@gmail.com if you ever want to get together =)


diana