Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Trilingual child, day care suggests teaching English at home
Question: Dear experts,

We live in the US (community language is English). My wife is a
native Chinese speaker and I am a native German speaker. Our
child is 2 years old. She has been in daycare since she was 6
months old. We use OPOL with no English spoken to our child. But
we do usually converse in English between us in front of the child.

Our daycare teacher strongly suggested in a recent conversation
that we should teach her the English words as well. Otherwise our
child would have a high probability of acting out because of a
building frustration due to a lack of communication/language ability.

This does not seem to fit with OPOL or MLAH. It certainly would
also not feel natural to me. Also, if our little one says an English
word my reaction is to acknowledge that it is a proper word in
English and that ''in German it's ...''.

So far I have not given the learning English part much thought.
After all it is the community language and she has 40 hours per
week of scheduled exposure to it. It should come just naturally. If
we get 40 hours per week of German and Chinese, I think we are
lucky.

What are your thoughts?

From: Curious
Date: 08-Jan-2013
Replies:
  1. Re: Trilingual child, day care suggests teaching English at home    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (14-Jan-2013)
  2. Re: Trilingual child, day care suggests teaching English at home    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (08-Jan-2013)
  3. Re: Trilingual child, day care suggests teaching English at home    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (08-Jan-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions