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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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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
 
Date: 17-Sep-2012
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (22-Sep-2012)
  2. Re: How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (17-Sep-2012)

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