Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Should I teach my kids Spanish or English?

I am a hispanic woman, I married an American guy. He knows a lot of spanish because we met during an exchange he did 6 years ago.

Anyways, we have a 1 year old, and we are not sure if we should teach her Spanish or English as her first language. What do you recommend? We live in the United States, hence she will be attending an English-speaking school. 

5 Answers

  • Rain
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    It is more important for your child to teach the kid English as first language.

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  • 1 month ago

    You shouldn't even be thinking about 'teaching' at this early age. Instead, each of you should be speaking to her in the language that each of you has as a native speaker. Countless studies have shown that while a child exposed to more than one language is a little slower to speak at first, their brains soon learn how to distinguish the languages, and they grow up using both with equal fluency.

    Your English seems native-level so there should be no problem about your speaking to her in both languages, but if your husband isn't fluent in Spanish, he should use only quite simple language to her that he knows for certain is correct. It's terribly easy for a child to pick up a small mistake and be quite unable to get rid of it later.

    Your child will be in the fortunate position of growing up speaking two languages fluently. Many adults would kill for that privilege!

    PS A really, really important point: There will be times when your child may refuse to answer in one or other language. DON'T get upset or show anger; just keep on using whichever language it may be, as she will certainly understand even if she answers in the other language.And just as important, don't ever let it seem like a big deal that she can speak two languages; don't show her off to family - "Maria, say something in Spanish to Aunty Sue!" It can make a child feel exposed and therefore reluctant to bring that extra attention on herself.

    Have fun, and make sure she does too! I envy her!

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  • 1 month ago

    Speak to her in both languages. One of you always use Spanish, the other always use English. The child will work it out and will grow up bilingual - which is a huge advantage. My brother's partner was German  and always spoke German to their children while my brother always spoke English. Their children, now adults, are completely bilingual. Don't underestimate very young children when it comes to languages, they can easily learn two at the same time.

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  • 1 month ago

    Both.  From birth to about age five, language learning is one of the developmental tasks of children, and they have no problem learning more than one language simultaneously.  Just don't mix up the languages, by which I mean if you're  speaking Spanish, don't throw in any English words, and vise versa.

    I grew up bilingual in Greek and English.

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  • 1 month ago

    Speak to her in English and Spanish. Being bilingual from an early age is always an asset and greatly develops mental skills. 

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