How are we doing?
It’s been 6 months since I wrote about our bilingual goals and action plan. I’m now ready to revisit those goals and see what we’ve accomplished and what has changed since then.
Bilingual To-do List Round Two
1. Decide which languages are important and why.
We are still focusing on three languages. In order of importance (and fluency) our languages are Spanish, English and French.
2. Identify your motives for (and your reservations about) bilingualism.
Our motives have not changed – we want to share our languages with our daughter and give her as many opportunities as possible. Our reservations have changed a bit – about French since we are not yet ready to jump into French Immersion and may wait until she can choose Late Immersion in Grade 6.
3. Choose which language(s) you and your partner are going to speak to your child.
At home we speak Spanish most of the time, when we are out or spending time with family and friends we speak more English. I speak French to my daughter when we are learning new vocabulary or reading French books.
4. Set a start date.
We’ve already started!
5. Determine how proficient you hope your child will be in the second language.
Six months ago we set the goal to achieve level 3 (being able to speak, read, and write) in Spanish and English and level 2 (Being able to speak more or less fluently) in French.
6. Do a reality check. Are your proficiency goals realistic for your family?
As long term goals they are realistic. So far she is learning letters and numbers in each language and with perseverance she will be able to read and write in Spanish. She is recognizing some words in French and her comprehension is improving.
7. Take into account that one language will be dominant.
Though her English has improved drastically (and is becoming her dominant language of play) – her Spanish continues to be stronger
How are we achieving our goals?
Her vocabulary, comprehension and pronunciation in Spanish amaze me. Recently we have been listening to a lot of Cri-Cri and she has quickly memorized many of the lyrics and has begun to act out the songs – showing that she is understanding their meanings. She has not taken to English lyrics as she has to Spanish songs, it has taken a lot of effort to teach her simple songs such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
A few weeks ago she began taking a preschool French class once a week, to supplement the work that we have done at home, and she has enjoyed it very much so far.
The daunting task of raising a bilingual child seems less and less intimidating every day, and it really is worth the effort. Watching her learn in all three languages is truly an amazing thing and I can’t wait until she starts reading and speaking more!