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anyone introduced second language later on?

(9 Posts)
fairybells Mon 27-Jun-16 10:40:43

My DD is nearly 3 years old and she has heard my native language (Finnish) since she was a baby but at some point I started talking to her in English. I think I found it easier as my DH only speaks English. My DD can understand quite a lot in Finnish and she knows random words but that's about it. She can't put the words together in a sentence and her understanding is limited. I'd like her to learn more and I've started to speak to her in Finnish now but have I left it too late? She can't understand half the things I say to her and it's a struggle.
Has anyone successfully introduced a second language later on?

Mimosa1 Wed 29-Jun-16 19:12:45

Hi, No help on my end I'm afraid as I have the same question about French. Does anyone have experience of introducing the second language when their child was a toddler? Thank you

LadyLayLay Thu 07-Jul-16 15:26:22

Parents aren't French but I moved there when I was 12 and am now fluent. You can learn at any age but obv. the younger you are the easier it is. Wish my parents had moved us sooner TBH

ChilliMum Thu 07-Jul-16 15:36:05

Moved to France when my 2 dc were 6 and 1. They are both fluent now. I think you need to have a strict routine with it though. I have a friend who has a home language and an outside the home language which works and another who have 1 parent who speaks 1 language and another the other language. The friends who speak 1 language each introduced the second language a bit later as it was the fathers and as he wasn't around the kids as much they were slower to learn which was frustrating for him. They kept it up though and the kids are fluent in both now.

LetLoveWin Thu 07-Jul-16 15:43:11

Yes, you have to be absolutely anal about it. I introduced a second (non-native to me!) language when my DD was almost 2, she's fluent now. But I only ever spoke that language with her (would translate constantly when in company), only ever put on movies in that language, only bought and read books in that language etc. It went smoothly with her but my DS was tougher, especially after starting school where he was picking up tons of English. If I ever lapsed, so did he. So I had to be boring and militant, but it does work if you stick to your guns!

Koira123 Mon 11-Jul-16 20:50:00

No advice about introducing/strengthening a language at age 3, but wanted to ask: Are you near any of the Finnish Saturday Schools and could you attend these as a family? The one nearest me has classes for adults and children as well as a library of books and dvds.

Ideally your DH could attend a beginners’ class for adults and your DD the children’s group. Then you could all use Finnish as a family language together and it gives a wider number of people for your DD to speak Finnish with. They might also be able to offer you more tailored advice.

If we had a child I can’t see OPOL working for DH & me when all transactions outside the house need to be conducted in English, so our current plan, is for both DH & I to speak Finnish some of the time. I need to improve my Finnish for this to happen and attending a language class is very useful to help achieve this.

elQuintoConyo Mon 11-Jul-16 20:56:20

DH moved to Ireland when he was 7yo and doesn't remember not speaking English. Slightly different scenario as he was immersed, but he doesn't remember any difficulty.

I think OPOL works best when you both know the same language - so when your teen asks you for money for the cinema and you say no because they haven't done their chores, your partner understands the whole conversation, otherwise they'll go to the 2nd parent, ask for the money and get it grin kids can be crafty! I know of a family where it is OPOL and one parent doesn't speak/understand the other language so they are just lost, feels like the dad and daughter have a special code and a stronger bond.

But with a 3yo be militant- as a pp suggested.

fairybells Tue 12-Jul-16 09:02:47

Yes we have actually planned on going to some of the Saturday classes. We have one about an hours drive away which is not ideal on Saturday mornings haha! But for the last few weeks I've been mainly talking to my DD in Finnish and she has picked up some words but mainly still refuses to use them. Luckily she understands quite a lot, although sometimes I have to translate to English for her as she has no idea what I'm saying. I just wish I hadn't left it so late! I won't do the same mistake with my DS!

AbyssinianBanana Tue 12-Jul-16 09:09:14

I learned English as an older child and was fluent within a year (plunged into the primary school system). I remember very clearly being able to understand everything said to me, but not being able to reply or stringing together a sentence coherently and feeling very frustrated. Persevere, because it does sink in. She will have learned the language before she can reply back.

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