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For Bilingual Parents: When a good time to teach a child another language?

I heard that babies can learn another language very fast. Much faster then when they get older. My hubby is Hispanic and we want our baby to be bilingual. Our son is 7 months now, should we start teaching him now? Or when he's older? Does it matter?


Asked by NuMommy87 at 9:50 PM on Jan. 8, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (9)
  • No, don't wait until he is older or he will either not have any interest or not speak it. My doctor told me to speak to my kids spanish and let school teach them the English. She was Philapino and she said, she did that with her kids and when they came home from school she enforced her language to be spoken in the home only. I spoke to my kids in Spanish and once they got to school they learned the English, but they are forgetting the Spanish, so I have to speak to them in Spanish all the time. It's a little difficult because I speak Spanish and my husband has to speak English to them. So, I recommend the Spanish first, because they will forget that faster is you don't start that.

    Answer by SimplyCreative at 11:15 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • You should start now. If he hears it now he will pick it up as he learns English. It will be easier for him.

    Answer by MizAnn at 9:51 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • i dont know about that.. you know what i've talked to my son... in spanish and english since he was born and he's two and he understands and speaks both so i dont think it matters.

    Answer by MommaBear1129 at 9:52 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • shoulda started right away. you speak english and him DH is hispanic and he sings lullabys to he. shes 4 m/o

    Answer by calliesmommie at 9:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • NOW! Your husband should speak to him in Spanish as much as he can. Your baby is capable of learning two languages at the same time. You will be doing him a favor if you let him hear both languages every day. That way he will never have to "learn" the second language, it will just come natural to him.

    Answer by Mishelly728 at 9:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • I agree you should have started when he was first born, but definitely start now. My SO is half Japanese and fluent and his mother is full Japanese. I wish they would speak it around the kids constantly but they always use English. It is hard to learn a second language as an adult and the more languages you know, the easier it is to learn even more. Japanese is one of the think I'll get on his case about it tonight! lol

    Answer by kabbot01 at 10:04 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Teach him as soon as possible. He won't be speaking now but he is learning what words mean. Start soon!

    Answer by humaniterian87 at 10:45 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Me and my boyfriend (he's hispanic and im half hispanic) are teaching our son spanish first and figure we will gradually introduce english to him and hopefully by the time he starts school he will be bilingual in both english and spanish :]

    Answer by InfectiousSmile at 10:58 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Right away... just use it around the house... say something in English once then repeat in in the other language.

    Answer by dtetz at 11:46 PM on Jan. 8, 2009