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OPOL experts - what to do when DS starts to say words in both languages?

(9 Posts)
bebespain Tue 09-Sep-08 22:17:25

Hi all

Using OPOL method with DS. Me English and DH Spanish.

DS 20 mo has recently started saying a few words in English but has also picked up a couple of Spanish words, one of whch is "agua" If the OPOL method advises that each parent stick to their mother tongue do I ask DS:

Do you want a drink of water? or Do you want a drink of agua?

I hope this makes sense. What I mean is will my substituting his agua for water only serve to confuse him...?

moondog Tue 09-Sep-08 22:22:01

Just let him say what he wants but keep responding in English.

moondog Tue 09-Sep-08 22:22:08

Just let him say what he wants but keep responding in English.

moondog Tue 09-Sep-08 22:22:09

Just let him say what he wants but keep responding in English.

Brangelina Tue 09-Sep-08 23:06:50

What Moondog says. I'm not sure i I understand the question tbh. Are you worried that he won't understand you if you say it in English? If you mix the languages in the same sentence you are effectively teaching him something that's incorrect and will probably confuse him more than necessary IYSWIM.

Brangelina Tue 09-Sep-08 23:09:59

Was it that you wanted to encourage his use of Spanish? If you're in Spain (I'm guessing by your name) I wouldn't bother, as once he's at nursery/school etc. the community language will take over so much that English will become the minority language. I'm having the same problem with DD speaking Italian pretty much all the time now.

bebespain Wed 10-Sep-08 09:49:20

Thanks for your replies and sorry my question sounds so ambiguous blush

Brangelina - I don´t want to encourage his use of Spanish not at all, quite the opposite! And I am already worried English will become the minority language once he is at Nursery.

Yes I suppose I am concerned that if he has picked up the word "agua" for water (which is fine btw) if I say water. I will only confuse him. I was thinking more in the context of a question. Do you want a drink of water or do you want a drink of agua.

I´m probably worrying for nothing as per usual. Hope I don´t sound like a loon grin

cory Wed 10-Sep-08 10:10:49

I wouldn't worry, he won't get confused. Just ask him if he wants a drink of water. But try not to be negative about his use of Spanish either. Any language use is fine and to be encouraged. As long as you give him lots of exposure to both languages and let him know that you feel good about the situation, there is a good chance that he will become fully bilingual.

I didn't stick to the OPOL method in the end (too difficult when you are supervising homework), but mine have still turned out bilingual.

annasmami Wed 10-Sep-08 11:51:35

I would repeat the question in English and ask 'do you want a drink of water?'

We too use the OPOL method (live in UK with me speaking German and dh English). If the children ask me something or use a word in English when talking to me, I will repeat it in German. I think it helps them separate the languages when you're quite strict about the one-person one-language. At least when they're still young, up to about age 6-7 in my experience.

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