Trilingual Baby

When English starts creeping in…

It started with please. Then, yes, then thank you. Please and thank you! You’d think I’d be thrilled!!

I would be except we are talking about Enzo. And we haven’t introduced English, at least not formally. We watch TV in English, and he attends a couple of classes. He has had a couple of play dates in English. But now, he’s started answering me in English! Already!! He hasn’t even started preschool yet!! I think he’s just testing the waters, to see my reaction, but am not going to lie, I’m concerned. I just don’t want this to be the beginning of the end of Spanish and French!

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Our home is filled with books in Spanish, French and English!

Perhaps I’m being dramatic. At least I notice he’s picking up new words in English, and answers appropriately when spoken to in English.  (Sometimes, though, he doesn’t answer at all— probably because he doesn’t understand the question.) But then there are the times he replies to ME in English. Those are the times that concern me! Perhaps I should switch to French at home… that way he would hear his Papa and I speak in French and Spanish. It is very hard because when we have English-speaking friends over, then we of course switch to English.

My husband and I are very committed to having our son learn Spanish and French. In thinking about his schooling, we have started thinking about the possibility of finding a dual language program he can attend.

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Petit Ours Brun is a great collection of books in French! They are available on Amazon.

I recently attended an information session on French dual language programs in NYC. We heard from committed parents who had worked with principals to create these programs.

We live in Astoria, Queens in NYC. Queens is the most diverse county in the United States! Sadly, there aren’t any French programs available in our neighborhood. So, I’ve decided that in the next couple of months, I will be reaching out to parents to see how much support and interest there is for a French dual language program.

You may be wondering why I’ve decided to try to find a French program, as opposed to a Spanish program. Well, because I feel capable and confident that I can teach my son Spanish, however, it would be harder for me to teach him French. He is also exposed to a lot more Spanish on a daily basis than French, so for us it makes more sense.   But rest assured— I am equally committed to teaching him Spanish!

Do you have fears like mine? Are you thinking about what schools will work best for your language needs?  I’d love to hear your insight and any helpful suggestions!! Tweet me, vist me on Facebook, or leave a message below!

Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a Latina working mom from Astoria, NY, mom to a trilingual four-year old. I blog about motherhood, Latino issues, women's issues, work/life balance, food, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural son!

3 Comments

  1. Hola Diana! Qué gusto descubrir tu blog! Soy ecuatoriana, vivo en Quito y tengo familia en Nueva York, muy cerca de tu área.
    Ellos son bilingues, siempre me ha interesado el tema del bilinguismo, aunque en mi casa hablamos solo español por ser todos ecuatorianos.
    Mi realidad es otra, no puedo esperar un bilinguismo aquí pero estoy haciendo todo lo posible para que mi bebé esté expuesto a dos idiomas.
    Pienso en tu caso a la inversa y me enfrento a que hablo en inglés con mi hijo, pero todo todo todo el entorno está en español y cada vez él se niega a contestarme en inglés. Llega el punto en que no quiero presionarlo a aprender y tendré que dejar que él decida.
    Talvez algún consejo?
    Felicidades por tu blog, me encantó!!!!!

    1. Perdón se fue el comentario, Jess, no hay que dejar vencerse! Tu bebé sabe que tu hablas español por eso no te ha de querer contestar en inglés– tal vez podrías encontrar una clase, otras familias que hablan inglés? Esto ayudará a tu bebé– tambiém si puedes, clases bilingües son súper importantes!

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