Tuesday, 17 April 2007

in the beginning...

I'd been in a dither all through the pregnancy, and indeed even before that! In fact I'd definitely said, having been asked, that I'd just speak to any child of mine in English - well, it'd be weird, wouldn't it, talking foreign? (Not really, as it turns out!)

And there was a confidence issue also - I mean, my Spanish was good, I knew that. Fluent, even. But was it good enough? I mean, I didn't want to mess up the poor kid!

What I knew was that many people had sucessfully brought up kids bilingually - but the most common model seemed to be that both parents had at least a basic capability in both languages, with one being a native speaker, and they would then either do OPOL (one-parent-one-language) or simply speak the foreign language in the home, and let the child pick up English on their own at school/nursery/playgroup or whatever. BUT we didn't really fit into either of those:

I'm not a native speaker of Spanish - I've had to pick up a lot along the way!
My wife doesn't speak any Spanish at all (though she does seem to be picking bits up; she can hardly help it, i guess!)

So it was always going to be the case that my daughter would hear me speaking English - would this confuse her? Would she bother with Spanish at all if she knew I could speak English anyway? Would all this be too much for her poor little brain to cope with?? Was I going to break my child???

A few things helped me make up my mind...

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