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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?|
|Question:||Hello, I have a girlfriend since 2.5 years and she has a daughter. They are russian, but we live in a french speaking country, so the kid speaks both. At first I started speaking french to her(which I don't really know well). As time passed I learned french a bit better. But now we became more like a family, and I want to start speaking my own language (turkish) to her, so that she learns it. I had few tries, but she mostly rejected, and complained (because she knows I speak french). How should I approach to this subject? Are there any studies on this, that I can read about? Is 7 too late? Should I just be insistent on speaking Turkish?|
|Reply:||A child will pick up a language easily if he or she is in circumstances where it seems worth doing, for instance most of the children he plays with speak that language or suchlike. I think in your circumstances as you describe them it would be very difficult for the child to see much good reason to learn your language, it would just appear to be an artificial and burdensome task. So I think it won't happen and it might be best not to push it. As the years go by, if you continue as a father figure in her life, she might when older develop curiosity about your culture and language off her own bat, and actually want to learn something of it. Geoffrey Sampson|
|Reply From:||Geoffrey Richard Sampson click here to access email|