Advanced search

Maintaining bilingualism

(13 Posts)
hibbledobble Mon 18-Sep-17 08:56:13

How to best keep up a second language at home when parents aren't fluent? I've been using one third story audiobooks and cds in the car. I have muzzy dvds but she isn't keen.

AtlanticWaves Mon 18-Sep-17 09:01:09

What's the language? Any chance of meeting other children who speak the language?

DVDs are good too. And learning songs.

How did your DD learn the language in the first place?

Is there a particular reason you want to keep the second language up? It's hard work having bilingual children and they need constant exposure to both languages.

hibbledobble Tue 19-Sep-17 09:05:25

The language is spanish.

It was learnt via nursery/au pairs, which we can't access at present.

AtlanticWaves Tue 19-Sep-17 10:59:24

I may be wrong but I think it'd be very hard keeping up bilingualism. That's not to say you shouldn't keep up exposure and "tune the ear" but true bilingualism will be hard to attain if the child can't talk to people in that language.

I'd look on meetup for Spanish meetups - preferably with children. I know where I live (not UK) there's lots of English-speaking groups.

hibbledobble Tue 19-Sep-17 14:21:03

I've found a weekly 2 hour Saturday class. I'm looking for additional ways of keeping up the language. We will probably have an au pair again soon so she will have another opportunity to talk on a daily basis, but this is just until then.

I'll look for meet ups, but the difficulty will be that the children would naturally talk to each other in English.

AtlanticWaves Tue 19-Sep-17 15:44:53

In that case I'd try lots of different DVDs (even if it's spanish-speaking version of stuff she knows - my DSes watch paw patrol and fireman sam in French for example)

Maybe get some children songs in Spanish

Penhacked Thu 21-Sep-17 10:38:49

I'd do TV only in Spanish if I were you

hibbledobble Thu 21-Sep-17 12:02:00

pen excuse my ignorance but how do you get spanish tv in the UK? I have muzzy and Dora dvds

Penhacked Thu 21-Sep-17 21:16:57

You just need a VPN and download the channel's app, then stream it through your TV. Or YouTube through a Vpn and search for Spanish programmes. I generally do the latter now as my kids know what they like (generally other kids unwrapping toys!)

Mamabear12 Thu 28-Sep-17 21:00:45

netflix gives the options for several kids tv shows for different audio. you have to search around, but they offer some in spanish, french, chinese etc. you just watch the show and check language audio options for each show. wish they made it easier to search via language!

aurelieb Sat 07-Oct-17 14:42:39


The best way I have found to find which children programmes are available in other languages on Netflix is to use this site:
Then go genre > all children
Audio > whatever is your target language.
You then have to filter by country (top middle in the blue box, not very obvious to find but it's there!).

It's not 100% accurate but much easier than checking each programme one by one!!

I am also trying to launch a website that would enable bilingual families to find others near them who speak the same language (and kids of similar age). More details here:, feel free to circulate!

sodade Sat 11-Nov-17 21:50:38

Thanks for the tip @aurelieb. Will try that, it's a pain to check individually on netflix.

@hibbledobble I recently found a radio for kids in portuguese that is excellent - fun, informative - and have it in the background as much as I can. Or you can build a playlist on spotify and youtube kids? for the latter, better watch it with them fist to be safe. Are there any spanish playgroups near you? If not, why not start one? Post here on MN, or mush, for example. Good luck!

Mamabear12 Tue 14-Nov-17 21:04:44

You can also use your iPhone as a remote for the apple TV if you own one and change the audio for languages (I realised that a few of the movies had French audio (esp disney!) and then it automatically changed the netflix audio as well).

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: