Thursday, 24 July 2008
by Mama Hippo
One of my goals is for D to learn Spanish. I've known many families where the parents knew different languages and they set up a system where dad would speak to the children in one language and mom in another. Then mom and dad would share one language when speaking to each other, or use another one altogether ( I knew one family where mom spoke Armenian with her kids, dad spoke German, and when all together they spoke English). That's really the ideal way to do it as if one person speaks one language most of the time I think there's less confusion in the child.
Unfortunately while I'm pretty close to fluent in Spanish, I'm not quite to the level where I'd feel comfortable speaking only Spanish with D. So I'm trying to figure out a routine for when to introduce Spanish to him. My dad brought back a bunch of Spanish language books from his recent trip to south america, and so I think I'm going to commit to reading to him in Spanish once a day, preferably at about the same time each day. We could have a "Spanish hour" reserved for that language. I also have a goal of finding a Spanish-language play group in California when we move back in a few months, to help give him more exposure and me more practice.
In addition, I'd like to teach D some sign language. Just simple signs, so he's able to communicate a bit with us before he is able to speak. I've been procrastinating on starting this up, but this morning I looked up signs for hunger, thirst, eating, etc, and will start using those with him so he can start making the associations with what the signs mean. I like the idea of using real ASL signs, but it's also probably just as useful to make up signs of our own as long as we keep it consistent. I know he may not use them back with me for months, but as I've heard often recently, it's never too early to start, is it?
Are any of you teaching or wanting to teach your children sign language, or another verbal language? How are you going about it?