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Teaching Methods in the home.

(13 Posts)
Patienceofatoddler Sat 13-Jan-18 20:51:41

We are a Polish / English household DS is 3 and DD 17 months - we speak English in the home.

We want both children to be bilingual - we use a lot of Polish phrases at home 'Dobranoc' 'Koham Cie' and we are called Mama and Tata by the children. If the eldest waves to say bye he automatically says 'papa' bless him.

I have started doing some more structured learning with my son using Flash Cards (Numbers 1-20) but just struggling to make it interesting...

We spend a few weeks a year in Poland (heading for two weeks shortly) where we will be talking Polish majesty of the time - And am planning on visiting a few book shops for some more books which I'm quite excited about blush

But would love to hear from other parents and fun games / exercises / websites they found useful.

Solasum Sat 13-Jan-18 20:55:49

I think honestly for true bilingualism you need to speak only Polish at home. There is no incentive to learn it otherwise. My DS is surrounded by kids with the same minority language, and they all speak to each other in English. It is really annoying!

Solasum Sat 13-Jan-18 20:57:16

Make all tv they watch Polish, Polish songs, Polish radio, find other Polish kids to play with

Patienceofatoddler Sat 13-Jan-18 21:02:57


Ahh true Polish TV why didn't I think of that - I will look into if there's a way of accessing shows without having to rely on you tube / iPad. 

Patienceofatoddler Sat 13-Jan-18 21:07:10

Longer term it doesn't worry me about true bilingual as such as we actually plan to relocate so frankly all of our language skills will hugely increase and they will be in the Polish school system.

I guess just at this stage they are not completely surrounded by the language so just thinking of ways to make it more fun / interesting.

villainousbroodmare Sat 13-Jan-18 21:09:06

I agree that if you don't speak mainly or solely Polish at home, they will stay just with those few words or phrases, understand probably quite a bit but not speak it. I would definitely recommend you switch... their English will become fluent anyway through school, friends and media.

LinoleumBlownapart Sun 14-Jan-18 10:02:59

As you are planning to move it will be the English that you'll need to make sure is very strong when you move. My children moved and now they are fluent in both languages and use both daily. Before they moved they watched DVDs or kids tv in the other language. It took about 6 months after moving that they were fluent. If there's a chance you may never move I'd start using polish more and more as to be fluent it will need to be your "home" language.

peachypetite Sun 14-Jan-18 10:07:23

Phrases isn't enough you need to start using Polish as the dominant language

Patienceofatoddler Sun 14-Jan-18 10:29:37

Hi @LinoleumBlownapart

We are definitely moving - We have a house there and plan to move in around 18-24 months - before our eldest will start compulsory mainstream school.

That's brilliant to know how quickly your children adapted and it's what's I had thought would be possible in our case so good to know that dvds and teachings prior supported their learning.

Patienceofatoddler Sun 14-Jan-18 10:31:59

@peachypetite we are not in a position to use the current secondary language at home 100% as our priority is ensuring a solid English language.

RosiePosiePuddle Sun 14-Jan-18 12:47:33

We completely lost the momentum with our daughter. Nothing, nothing at all is "fun" in her native language (husband's language)! We moved from the country in which she was born to an english speaking country. Now she refuses point blank (at the age of 5) to engage with her native language.

We always spoke english at home when living in the country in which she was born, which made sense because she learnt the language at daycare. Now, because we mainly use english at home, she has rejected my husband's language. TBH the problem is not our daughter, it is my husbands refusal to speak his own language at home.

Sorry to sound so negative. But on a tiny positive she loves the odd song and will watch kids tv at her grandmothers house when she realises that there is no english alternative. Also I am going to send her to weekily language playschool. But it is a desperate attempt, as I know that she will be resistant to it.

I think that you have to appreciate that it will be an uphill task. As you are planning on go back to poland, why not concentrate on establishing english as the family language so that when you move their english skills will be fully developed and you wont have to do the reverse of what you are going now in english.

reluctantbrit Mon 15-Jan-18 13:31:13

You need to increase the amount of Polish in your home. Speak to them, read, watch TV and listen to audiotapes.

If you want them to include into the Polish school system they need a decent understanding and ability to speak. It will also increase the knowledge of the non-Polish parent.

DD is 10 and understands German fluently but still has problems with grammar and I doubt she would do well in a German school. If we would have definite plans to relocate I would seriously upgrade the amount of the new home language.

In Poland then use English as family language so you can keep up.

RosiePosiePuddle Mon 15-Jan-18 23:16:33

I wouldn't worry about your kids having problems with polish when going to school in Poland. I was a teacher in a bilingual school in school. I regularly came across kids from other countries with different native languages. They were all fluent in the school/country language within a year (sometimes slightly longer). Basically they will speak the language that their friends speak and pick it up light years faster than an adult could. But the younger you do this the better. After 11-13 it appears that language aquision seems to change from child to adult like.

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