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S/O of my previous question about my son speaking "Spanish" because I noticed today its getting worse..

Quick recap for those who didn't see my last question, my son attends a preschool where about half of his classmates and his teacher speaks Spanish as their first language. Though all speak English fluently, they often speak Spanish to each other, including the teacher. It is not a bilingual school, they are not being taught Spanish or being taught IN Spanish, but my son is picking up on it, and my problem with that is in the following....

For those who DID read it, put aside the fact that my son is being exposed to it because that is not at all my problem. In fact, if he does pick up enough and actually learns the language I think that would be GREAT.

Here is my issue and the only reason I brought up his exposure to Spanish is to explain why he does this, not to say I am against it.. Increasingly often, my son "speaks" in Spanish sounding gibberish. It is NOT actual Spanish (except for the occassional word or two) and yes I know this for a fact. When talking to other's he rambles off in this gibberish and then they look at me unsure of how to respond. I don't even know how to respond. Lately he does this at least 50% of the tIme. I know he is speaking as he thinks his preschool friends speak and is attempting a new language which is fine, but it's not understandable and therefore obnoxious. But, do I tell him to stop since he IS attempting a new language? I don't speak enough Spanish to correct him in it. i dont even think someone who did speak it could correct him since it is so senseless. Do I tell him to "speak English" or use "real" words? Looking for advice on how to handle!


Asked by Anonymous at 9:17 PM on Dec. 15, 2012 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • My kids are bilangual and for a long time both of them would sort of mix and match languages, i am able to translate so that makes it easier. It takes time but the gibberish will turn into language that actually makes sense, i think its just how kids naturally learn a language

    Answer by Cynthje at 7:57 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • He's a toddler, wtf do you expect?

    Answer by FreeForAll at 9:31 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • Your son didn't automatically know English when he was born. Did he not speak gibberish as he was learning English. If he is wanting something or trying to tell you something encourage him to tell you in English first so that you know what he is saying but also encourage him to speak in his gibberish Spanish as well. Look for some educational tv shows or dvds that will teach Spanish words to English speakers (Dora and Diego come to mind, but I know there are plenty others out there).


    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:27 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • Ya know, I saw this last night and my thoughts were 100% the same as FFA! LOL!

    Answer by m-avi at 9:59 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • Hmm.. tough since he's so young. I understand that just being around a language won't necessarily help him learn it. My parents spoke Gujarati (Indian dialect) to each other around us kids while growing up, but they spoke to us in English only and never made a point of teaching it to us. Even after living around it for 17 years, I never became fluent and hardly remember anything today.

    Since he's obviously interested, you can just use this as a starting point to actually teach him Spanish. Maybe start with common phrases and words. And definitely talk to his teachers and try to come up with ways they can help him actually learn Spanish. I'd suggest making a point of approaching it to them as a good thing that you'd like their help to encourage properly - just in case they might get defensive about it. And I'd talk to the director/owner to see if they'd reconsider officially doing some bilingual lessons.

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 10:46 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • second posts about the same thing do not mormally change the answers

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 11:13 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • If it is obvious what he is talking to you about you, like say he is holding a ball, you can say ' Yes I see the ball. Is it a red ball?' Just like you would if he was speaking 'English sounding gibberish (?)' Or is you choose to encourage it ( as I would) I might even repeat it saying the words in English and Spanish. 'Yes a red ball! A rojo Pelota!'

    Answer by But_Mommie at 9:25 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • It is often not obvious what he is talking about. He likes to ramble naturally so this only makes it that much more difficult.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:28 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • encourage him to learn spanish and try to make it something you can learn together. After awhile he will pick up enough to understand. instead of making him feel bad ask him to say it in english and tell him we will find out together how to say that in other languages. encourage his natural curosity. Don't call it gibberish because he will go back to his classmates and his teacher and repeat and that would sound rather wrong and he will get discourage and might not want to learn a language in the future if you make him feel bad about it.

    Answer by lambdarose at 9:37 PM on Dec. 15, 2012

  • feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 10:00 PM on Dec. 15, 2012