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Posts posted by Laurab

  1. Rimzi, thank you for you message and so sorry for your loss. I have lost someone very close to me not long ago.

    There is a huge difference between understanding and speaking a language. Children are generally amazing, and they can learn so much so easily, but they also tend to be lazy (we are all guilty of that). In their case it's even more understandable: learning to communicate to them in more important then learning multiple languages at the same time. I have a friend whose son, now 16, understands Italian perfectly well, but refuses to speak a single word of it. I would hate for my son to be the same.

    @Franco, I'm tempted to agree with you. It's often the case that we, as parents, tend to overcomplicate things: community language, minority language, and all that. I think however that a child needs a good reason to learn a second language, something that will justify the effort he or she puts in it. I'll just need to come up with more reasons to make it worth his while.

  2. Wanda, I love the idea of involving the grandparents. I've ask my mum back in Italy if she would spend a few minutes in video chat with our son every week or so, and she couldn't be happier. Right now it's a lot of work: keeping a child still for longer than 2 minutes is no mean feat, mostly because he gets shy and runs away. But if we can keep it up, when he gets a little older, I can imagine him spending hours telling her all the exciting things that are happening in his busy life, you know.. the way children do.

    He gets a chance to practice Italian, grandma spends some time with her favourite grandchild, and I take a well deserve break :) 

    Thank you all for your replies, I've really appreciated.

  3. Thanks for your replies. That's exactly what we are doing. I speak English to my son, while my husband Italian, but we don't get to spend the same amount of time with the child. My husband only gets to stay with the little one a few minutes in the morning and at weekends (thanks god for the weekends :wink:), so he's much more exposed to English then Italian. I could counter balance that by taking to him in Italian from time to time, but I'm afraid that would confuse him.

    I read that speaking the minority language all the time at home, and expecting a reply in that language, is actually a more effective way to pass it to the child. The rationale is that children can learn the language spoken outside at school, and they very quickly catchup to their classmates. I'm sure they are right, but I would hate for my son to experience being the only one who doesn't speak like the rest of his class.

    I realise I'm being a little paranoid, that my son is not 2 yet, and that he will have time to learn both languages, but I feel I'll only get one shot at this, and I want to get it right.

  4. My partner and I both speak English and Italian at home. Our son is now 18 months old and is making great progress and already recognise and use many words, but he clearly seems to favour English as I language. I realise he's very young, and anyway that's fine since we live in a English speaking country, but I'd love for him to know Italian and much as English one day. I read every book and article I could find on the subject, but I wonder if anyone had any first hand experience to share. What worked for you? What didn't?

  5. There are words for which I still have to think twice: "lose" and "loose" are definitely two of them (as in the infographic), the same goes with "sensitive" and "sensible". I find that while I speak I often mix up "work" and "job", and I hate making this kind of mistakes. I'm sure there are other cases I'm forgetting. What other worlds you guys find tricky?

  6. I believe reading to be essential when learning a new language, any book or magazine will do. I used to write the definition of each new word on the side of the page, to helped me memorise it. Looking up words on the dictionary takes away part of the joy of reading at first (it takes self discipline), but overtime, as you learn more, you'll need to do it less and less, and by the time you start enjoying reading again you will have learnt so much.

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