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After several years of promoting bilingualism in children, it is time for me to draw conclusions. And today, I want to look at a question that parents repeat to us on many occasions. We start from the point of view of a nursery where from 4 months, English has been introduced to babies naturally, and where parents are aware of the level that children have acquired in the language.
Well, we have verified how in many cases, children, despite the level that children have in the new language, refuse to speak in English with their parents. We are going to analyze, what may be the causes of this.
We apply a complex system, unifying different methods of development of a second language, such as 'OPOL' (priority from 1 to 2 years) and 'PREVIEW REVIEW' (From 2 years). In the nursery, we have staff, who only speak to them in English when the children They are still not able to understand Spanish well. In truth, we are the ones who are marking them without realizing the pattern of hearing discrimination by language.
In addition, the children are aware that they come to a nursery where one of the advantages they will have is English. From the time they can remember, children already value it, they even feel good about achieving the goals they reach.
English is a very complex language, and it is very difficult for a child to understand that he knows a language. When we talk about bilingualism, we are not talking about knowing colors by heart. But to understand without thinking, and that words in English come out, without wanting to. The child develops a language little by little. But, the child during the first years, even if he has a high level, does not feel completely comfortable. In addition, in general, he knows the importance that parents place on English.
All this is what he does, that the child, try not to speak to parents in english. In addition to having the typical opposite of children: if you ask me, I will not answer you, I may tell you later if I want to and I feel like it.
When we talk about languages, it is best to be natural. We are not doing an exam. Since you will feel judged. English should not be a subject, it should be a necessity like walking.
The best to know the level of the child, or if he is achieving the developments, is to do it naturally. If we know English, we just have to speak to him in English, for a couple of weeks, as normal. If the child tells us not to speak to him in English, we apologize (in English) because it has left us unintentionally, and we keep talking to him in english. We will ask your forgiveness as many times as necessary.
Yes in our case, we do not speak English. We must rely on a friend and family member who knows it and who will speak to him for a time in English. There will come a time when the child associates that person with English and will let go. Since it will not be an exam, it will be normal to interact with it in English.
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