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Bilingual - speaking, reading and writing... HOW TO???

Bilingual - speaking, reading and writing... HOW TO???

Postby macadoe » Tue 20 Mar 2007 18:31 GMT

I am expecting a baby soon and intend to speak my native language of English to the babe. My husband will speak Dutch. I have seen this method work and the kids seem to learn to speak both languages but I would like advice on how to make sure they can read and write in both languages too. We may someday move back to UK and I don't want out child not to be able to go to the local primary school. Does anyone have any tips or useful wbeistes I could look at?

Thanks, Ruth
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Postby Cath » Wed 21 Mar 2007 09:48 GMT

We've lived in Holland for 20 years now. Our oldest boy was 2 when we came and the younger one was born here. It's a bit different for us because we're both English, so we naturally spoke English at home. But once the boys started school and got into learning dutch we had to decide what to do. We always made it a big rule that the boys only spoke one language at a time - i.e. don't mix the two up. Because then, nobody understands you. We always read English books to them at bedtime. We figured the dutch would take care of itself at school and with playmates. It seems to have worked out OK. Both boys are fluent in both languages and have no trouble reading both. The youngest one has just applied to the KLM flight academy so his English will come in handy for him. I can't think of any books or websites offhand, but I'll have a think and ask around. Good luck.
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Postby Larkspeed » Wed 5 Jan 2011 10:45 GMT

I realise this is a very old post but I will add to it anyway in case someone else see's it and wants to know.

I am English and my wife is dutch.

I cannot speak dutch so at home there is always a mixture of both languages (Her and her 3 kids all speak dutch to each other but english to me)

Our daughter turns 3 in febuary and she speaks both languages and even knows to speak english to me and dutch to my wife.

Writing she is obviously not there yet but she will be taught both

Reading again she does not really read but we do buy her kids books and buy them in both english and dutch so she is exposed to both.

Children are very flexible when it comes to language and if you just expose them to both they will easily pick up both.

It's only after many years of speaking one language that learning another becomes difficult because your brain is trained to think a certain way and to properly learn to speak, read or write a language you need to train your brain to think in that language.
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