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San Francisco, Ca, United States
I'm on the left, Andrew is in the middle and my partner Ed is on the right. My partner and I met in October 1993 and have been together ever since. Our son Andrew graced us with his presence on Christmas Eve 2007.

Bilingual

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
My son Andrew has been grasping words quickly. He does not have full pronunciation of words but you are able to recognize the word. Our family is speaking both English and Tagalog to him.
We visit the Philippines ever year and since my partner's family is Filipino, we thought it would be a good idea. It's not as useful to know Tagalog than lets say Spanish, but I think the introduction to more than one language (no matter what it is), makes learning languages in general easier.
Many children of other countries speak more than one language, some more than two languages. Our children, grow up (for the most part) speaking English. I say this with a bit of hesitance because even our English is far from perfect.
I can hear Andrew say Tagalog words and English words and I think it's awesome. I hear stories that it can actually delay speech in children when you are teaching them more than one language. I think the only real delay for Andrew is his pronunciation. There is one word he can say perfectly, and it's CUP. Yeah, that's right, CUP. I think he knows he says it very well because when I point to things, he gives his best effort to say the word. (Ball) "bo", (bath) "ba, ba", (Shoes) "CHHHZK"...but when I say CUP, he screams...."CUP". He pronounces the c and the p with so much emphasis and it's so much louder than the other words he says.
I had taken him to the grocery store two nights ago. They have a Starbucks inside the store. He saw cups and screamed "CUP" all throughout the store to the top of his lungs. I got a few interesting looks and a couple of jumps from people we were behind.
In Tagalog to say "I don't want" you would say Ayaw ko, but with slang ayoko (eye-yo-ko). I could have sworn when I asked Andrew if he was ready to eat, as he shook his head he said "ayaw". That is just tooo cool to hear.

Are teaching your child other languages? Do you purposely buy toys that speak various languages?

14 comments:

Jenny said...

All of the studies I've read have shown that the "delay" phenomenon for bilingually raised children really doesn't happen. Instead, most research seems to conclude that exposure to two languages helps in many ways with language development without slowing down the process.

Our baby isn't due to arrive for another month (or two), but I've been talking in German to my wife's bump, and plan to continue that as much as possible!

Daddy Files said...

Good for you guys. I'd love to teach him another language but unfortunately it's going to be plain old English until he takes up another language on his own.

creativeDad said...

I think it's great that you are teaching him another language. I'm sure it can be a difficult task. I don't know if I would have the patience and determination needed to do such a thing. Great job!

Otter Thomas said...

Learning another language is always a good thing. You are right that kids all over the world are doing it. When I visited Malaysia our contact told us his children studied Malay, Chinese (mandarin I think), and English in school. That is a lot of work but it is better to start young I think.

Mocha Dad said...

Since we live in Texas, my kids learn Spanish because so many of their friends speak the language.

ciara said...

i think it's good to teach him both languages. my mom quit speaking in her language to us when we were young, unfortunately. i can recognize a filipino or tagalog being spoken from a mile away, but i can't understand a word. i feel like i 'know' the word, but i don't really. does that make sense? i took 3 or 4 years of german and still can't speak it. no one to converse with, so you lose it. that's always an issue. i hope my kids take some language lessons. stepson is taking spanish in 9th grade, we'll see how he does. i think if i could learn/speak spanish everyday i would do quite well as i've been told i do the inflection quite well. course they could be lying to me! lol

Libby said...

Your doing a wonderful thing at an important time. The first three years are critical for language development and learning as certain parts of the brain form in response to what the child is learning. We can always pick up another language, but a child taught to be bilingual early is more likely to learn multiple languages and speak them fluently with a native accent. I've always heard about a delay as well but I've also read that it's temporary and leads later to faster learning.

Keep doing what you're doing. You are excellent parents.

Apok said...

For some reason i got a clear mental image of you shopping for sports protective gear in a few years with andrew, and him yelling CUP the whole time.

NYCity Mama said...

Yes! I speak Spanish, and of course English to my boys. My 11 year old resists now, like my brother did at his age, but he understands me fine. Problem is I speak Spanish mostly when I'm pissed, and gave my boys long names on purpose, so that when angry, or when they are in trouble, I can yell out in my thickest Spanish accent: David Alejandro Cain Alvarez!! Yeah...it's a language they totally understand : ) So great you are doing this! Good luck!

WeaselMomma said...

I had a friend in High school who spoke both English and Italian at home. His little sister was 4 and when speaking would combine the languages in a single sentence. I only am able to speak English and she would get so frustrated when I couldn't understand what she was saying to me. It was too cute and very funny. I think it's great that Andrew is learning both.

Jason said...

Man, I butcher English. The last thing I need to do is be butchering some other poor language lol.

surprised mom said...

I'm all in favor in learning a second language. I didn't do so well with hs French, but The Oldest is doing very well with Spanish. Her dad has a flair for languages and retained most of his hs Spanish and uses it at work. Where I live being bilingual in English and Spanish is such a plus. Good for you guys for teaching Andrew a second language!

Parental Chaos said...

kudos to you, im new to your blog but i like what i have read thus far. :)

giving your child the gift of multiple languages is priceless! if only I had the patience and time to with ours I would. They know a small amount of spanish but unfortunately that is all.

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Hi guys!
I think it's so cool he's going to be bilingual!

My partner and I are writing a special feature on gay parents that we wanted to email you about privately. If you get a chance (parenthood must be busy) and are interested could you shoot us an email at jasahab@gmail.com?

Salamat!

John

 

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