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I want my kids to speak their native language! help!

Discussion in 'Toddlers' started by anika987, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi lovely ladies,

    I need your help.I speak to my kids in both English and tamil. I want them to learn their native language.I know being in USA,english is going to be dominant but when I see so many cute kids speaking in their native language,I feel like I want to also teach my kids and make them speak the same.I would love tips from parents who have taught their kids their native language.What did u do?how did u make them learn?At what age did u start?How do u make sure they speak the language at home etc..
    Please gimme tips..thx
     
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  2. Chitravivek

    Chitravivek Platinum IL'ite

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    Reshmi: There is no rule that if the kid is US English is dominating. Continue what youre doing now like speaking in tamil. As far as possible avoid English even when talking to your husband. My DD is 3.5yrs old and trust me she learnt my language just a month ago. Till then she would only speak English and I tried all possible ways but was not success. A month I am not sure what changed I translated every sentence she spoke to tamil and made her repeat and she got it. Now she speaks fully tamil the moment she sees me picking her up in school. I have tried this technique of translating earlier too but she would refuse and run away. My Mom is here for the past 6 months so I am not sure if that helped. But anyways I am happy so in short there is not age limit on when to start. They do learn it when they wish and have interest for it.
     
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  3. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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  4. RedRuby

    RedRuby Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Aruna, i will face similar problem in future so i already talked to other friends in such situation about it and read some literature (for example about raising be lingual children).

    As you and your hubby both speak the same mother toungue ( i guess at least so) its not an issue and you can just continue the way you do it, it might be that there will be a sort of "speaking delay" as they sometimes avoid one of the languages or understand but wont reply in the same but that will be solved automatically by time. Make it a point to speak at home just tamil, no english and dont mix it up with english words or phrases to avoid confusing the child (clear cut between languages helps them differenciating).
    Visiting home can help too so they are exposed 24/7 to the language

    did you tried tamil kids series or movies and books which you read to him? Something to make it very attractive for him to understand and reply?
     
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  5. pantu

    pantu Gold IL'ite

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    Hi, living in US does not mean they should speak in english. There is no time frame also to teach them their mother tongue. Talk to them in your language. Human babies only learn from listening. Try to speak with your language as much as possible. My children are speaking my language only by hearing.
     
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  6. ramyaramani

    ramyaramani Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My daughter speaks Tamil well. She is 3 years old. Of course there is a mix of English words. But she understands and speaks Tamil well.

    Every day she gets 1 hour iPad access. In that I have installed an app that helps in learning Tamil alphabets. Initially she was bored. Now I find that she is even trying to write the letters. She knows the Tamil alphabets! For her it is a game. She seems to be learning through fun.
     
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  7. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    We are very strict about the native language. We speak only in our native language at home. So, my son(3 yrs) speaks fluently in the native language.
    We have a maid, who speaks another language. My son learnt to speak her language too.

    Once my son was fluent in one language, we taught him English. It was very easy for him to learn and pick up English within 6 months or so. In addition to that, he speaks/learns only English in his pre-school. So, learning English will come naturally at one point or the other. But it will be hard to teach native language after sometimes. Even if he learns it, he will not be able to use it as a native language.

    My cousins speaks native language, but they can't think or relate native language the way they relate English with their lives. Just like, I am fluent in French, but can't take French to my heart or think in French the way I do with my native Language.

    So, continue to speak only in Tamil with your kid till he is fluent with that. In addition to that, superscribe some Tamil cartoon channels/apps. Once he is fluent, then start teaching the other language.

    Native languages are meant for a reason. English is for everyone, so don't lose your specialty with this English mess.
     
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  8. guesshoo

    guesshoo IL Hall of Fame

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    Reshmi,

    You keep speaking the language; and when they say something translate. My dd is 3 now and that's what we've been doing. We made her repeat it, even if it was just water she was asking for. My dd seems to think in English, thanks to her school and our mixed social circle. However, she has a great grasp of our mother tongue now by our friendly insistence.

    These days, I let her express herself in English and then as a matter of fact translate it for her even if she doesn't repeat it, since her basics are there she grasps what I say and uses it later. Such sheer doggedness works for us.. Hope it works for you too.
     
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  9. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

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    Reshmi,

    I started a similar thread a while ago:
    Raising a bilingual child....

    My son is 20 months, I have been speaking Hindi with him all this time. My husband tries to speak Hindi occasionally because he is still learning the language and doesn't feel comfortable sometimes. DS mixes English and Hindi in a sentence but he understands both languages very well. We haven't introduced him to TV yet but I sing Hindi rhyme and poems to him. I couldn't find good Hindi board books and DH and I translated his favorite books, now we read his books in both languages. It's really cute when he asks me, " mama, jute pehna do" and asks his daddy, "daddy, put shoes on, please". Keep patience, she will learn.
     
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  10. Kita

    Kita Senior IL'ite

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    Hi reshmi,

    your problem is common among those who lives out of India....I also live out of India but we speak our language at home.. I also use some words in English but more is our native language....

    Many people think English in an international launguage ans we must make our kids fluent in English...but we forget that our native language is very important for us...

    You can watch your language kids rhymes or stories with the them,if don't understand make them understand....if they are close to somebody in India ask them to talk with the home in your language.....


    I used to tell my kids that if they know their language they can share any secrets in front of others as others won't understand our laungage,and if they speak in English they will not be able to hide anything from others.


    play some game with them which is traditionally in your laungage......if your are confident nobody can stop you....make your mothertounge as fun for them not as burden them."

    all the best
     
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