Sunday, September 25, 2011

Raising a bilingual child

I'm sure a lot of parents have gone through this process, for some, I'm sure it seemed easy, for others challenging.
Even since I said my "I do" in front of my future hubby, I knew I wanted my kids to know Romanian. And when I say "know", I mean: understanding it, speaking, it, writing it, reading it. Even if I'm way too early in this process to say: "I'm gonna be there" or " I will succeed", I just hope our kids will not be only fluent in Romanian and English but also French and at least Spanish.
I strongly believe "bilingualism" and further more "multilingualism" has more benefits then generally people realize.
Because I'm not only a first time mom but also a first timer in raising my baby bilingual, I wanted to have a different view of this matter from the point of view of 2 professionals and mothers in the same time whose kids are already bilingual. That's how I came across and read 2 books:

1. Raising a bilingual child  by Barbara Zurer Pearson, PhD

2. 7 steps to raising a bilingual child by Naomi Steiner, MD

As you may have already noticed the first writer is an academic teacher, the second is a doctor, but both of them are mothers and have raised bilingual kids.

The books are different in approaching the subject but at the end of the day, they draw the same conclusions: how important bilingualism is and that the best way to approach it is by being persistent and consistent.
Basically, the one important method to raise your kids bilingual is OPOL (One Parent One Language), meaning that, for example, in our family's case, I only speak with my kid in Romanian and my husband talks to him in English. It's also important to keep talking to him in the minority language as much as you can during daytime (even if you're out doors or indoors) Pearson would suggest an average of at least 4 hours a day in the minority language. Extra material (like books, songs, Tv etc) in the minority language also helps a lot, as well as the exposure to other people talking in the minority language (like grand parents, cousins, aunts etc)
Always keep in mind that your kid will always be more advanced in the community language (ex. English) than the minority language he/she hears at home.
And also, in the first years of life, it is very normal for the bilingual kids to mix words from both languages. (my son, who is 25 months, mixes words from English and Romanian, having a tendency of learning the easiest words from both languages, but he is perfectly understanding both English and Romanian).
Don't get intimidated by people telling you to stop talking in another language 'cause it will confuse the kid. There's not such thing as that because the human brain is set up in such a way as to absorb as many languages from an early age without any problem.
Bottom line, having read the 2 books, I can not tell I got the winning recipe or the right way to do it! I believe every experience is different as every situation is different. But, by reading the books, I got to understand some situations that I would't have otherwise and I also became more confident I was doing the right thing.
If you want to raise your kid bilingual, first you need to commit yourself to it, stick with it and be persistent. Reading these books or some other material about it also  helps a lot.
As our bilingual journey continues, I will write more about it.

Pre-schooling days

My little one started preschool. 3 days a week, 4 hours a day. It's his 3rd week already and things are getting smoother.
If in the first week, my husband had to stay with him all the time, now we bring him in the morning and leave after about 30 minutes. He still cries a bit after we leave but it goes away really fast and he starts playing with the kids or miss Monique with no more drama.
When we go to pick him up @ noon, he is both happy to see us but also very proud of himself and his accomplishments. He shows us what he did, what he painted, how he played. He really likes his little preschool.
More to write about it...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

24 months check-up

We were a bit late for the 24 months check-up. Let's say 24 months and 2 weeks check-up:

Height: 36"
Weight : 25 lbs

We need to come back in 2 months as mr. Picky right here didn't gain any weight. He's healthy and all but sometimes I have the feeling he's living with air.:)

We also did the chicken pox vaccine. No fever, no problems.

I work on movies-I love movies

  • 21 grams
  • 4,3,2 - Mungiu
  • Age of innocence
  • American Beauty
  • An Education
  • Apocalypse now
  • Atonement
  • Blind Side
  • Burn after reading
  • Casino
  • Gone with the wind
  • Good fellas
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Julie & Julia
  • Kill Bill - vol 1
  • Kill Bill - vol 2
  • La Vita e bella
  • Mar al dentro
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Million Dollar baby
  • Mystic River
  • Nine
  • Orient, Occident
  • Panth's Labyrinth
  • Slumdog millionaire
  • Some like it hot
  • Sophie's choice
  • The bridge of Madison County
  • The departed
  • The English Patient
  • The Godfather
  • The Hours
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Train de Vie
  • Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona