Settling into nursery when primary language is not English

(4 Posts)
drila Wed 13-Jan-16 16:55:59

Hello,
I'm in need of some sort of reassurance from parents who leave in the UK and speak a different language at home. My DH and I are both Italian and speak only Italian at home with our DS who is now 1 year old. We are trying to settle him into nursery where he will go for 3 mornings a week and so far it has been a disaster, with him crying all the time he spent there. I know this is the peak of separation anxiety and that he is only used to me and his dad (we don't have family around), but I can't stop thinking that most of the distress is caused by him not understanding English and what the teacher says to him. He does understand quite a lot of Italian now. Does anyone have a similar experience? How did you manage your child's transition to an English speaking nursery? Thanks for your help!

DesertOrDessert Thu 14-Jan-16 04:50:02

Other way round. We left the UK, and its been fine.
We also had a young boy with no English startvat nursery when we were in the UK. Nursery had a very basic list of words to help with communication (Mummy, Daddy, food, drink sort of level) to help out. It took time (maybe a month or 2) but then the boys English understanding was really good
DH was brought up in the UK, in a house where English wasn't used. He went to school with his English learnt from the TV mainly, and it hasn't prevented him getting a professional job.

speedyboots Thu 14-Jan-16 08:17:21

We're also in the opposite situation -we live abroad but speak only English at home. DS started with a childminder at 15 months. Up until then he had heard the local language at baby groups or when we met up with friends. Settling in was very hard, but I think more due to the separation anxiety and the fact that he had not been left with anyone before as, like you, we don't have family locally. After about two weeks he started to enjoy it and soon after that was running though the door without a backwards glance. I think it helped that the childminder is absolutely lovely and made sure he was happy and comfortable. She does not speak English by the way and he doesn't like it if she says anything in English now!
He has been there for 18 months and I would say is comfortably bilingual. He doesn't like to speak the local language in front of us but I know from the childminder he is speaking confidently and in full sentences.
So I would say it's a settling in issue, rather than a language issue. I remember how hard and heart breaking it can be but I am sure it will soon get better.

drila Thu 14-Jan-16 17:00:39

Thank you both for your replies. It helps knowing that a different language is not the issue in this case!

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