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Ask An Expert: How Can My Bilingual Child Overcome Her Refusal To Speak French?

My husband and I are raising our four-year-old daughter bilingually using the OPOL method– he speaks to her in English, and I speak to her in French, which is my second language. She is fluent in both languages at this point; her French was stronger until she started preschool this year. Unfortunately, although she still speaks to me almost exclusively in French, she refuses to speak French to anyone else, even native French-speakers whom she has known for years. AnyRead More ...

Ask An Expert: Is It Too Late For My 11 Year-Old Son To Learn Spanish?

Hi, my son is 11 and I didn’t teach him Spanish. Though my other two kids speak Spanish, for selfish reasons I failed to teach my son the language the we speak at home. My other kids will only speak in English though they understand and speak Spanish. My youngest who is 11 is not being exposed to the language. I am very depressed about this because I harmed my own child by not teaching him our language. I don’tRead More ...

Ask An Expert: Will Reading to My Daughter in English Affect the OPOL Method?

I love the work that you do and I read your blog daily. I have a 2.5 year old daughter who we are trying to raise speaking 3 languages, English, Spanish and Hebrew. We have been using the OPOL method. I speak Spanish, my husband speaks English and my husband has started introducing Hebrew words. I have two questions. I have been reading my daughter English books in Spanish and I just wondered if this will hurt her regarding howRead More ...

Ask An Expert: How do I keep K-4th Grade Native Speakers Challenged During Spanish Class?

I am in some need of help! I am the (only) Spanish teacher at a private PK- 6th school. I see students starting in K (once a week for 30 minutes), 1st (2x week for 30 minutes), and 3rd-6th (2x out of a 6 day rotation for 30 minutes). I have a number of bilingual students and am at a loss with what to do with them during class. We use the Symtalk program for grades K-4 and a MSRead More ...

Ask An Expert: What Can I Do For My Four-Year-Old Daughter To Become Fluent in Spanish?

I’m trying to raise bilungual kids as well. I have a 4yr old daughter and a 1yr old son. I feel like a total failure when it comes to my daughter speaking Spanish. She’s fallen behind and she’s also extremely strong willed so it’s tough for me to teach her. She understands Spanish and will say single words. As for forming sentences, well that’s the issue. I know the best way for her to learn is by applying games and making it fun. I just don’t knowRead More ...

Ask An Expert: Are We Hurting Our Son’s Speech Development by Speaking Only Spanish at Home?

My son is 18 months old, and he’s been in daycare since he was 4 months. His daycare is mostly English, but they also do sign language.  At home we speak 90%+ Spanish, but we work full time. My struggle: his vocabulary is expanding and it’s becoming a lot harder to focus on Spanish at home when he comes home saying “hat” and pointing, or “ball,” etc. We are so excited to hear these new words but want to reinforce SpanishRead More ...

Ask An Expert: How do I build proficiency in my non-native language to help my child become bilingual?

My husband and I are trying the one parent, one language method with our 1 year old daughter in Atlanta.  I speak to her in Spanish, while he speaks to her in English.  She also goes to a trilingual (Spanish, French and Mandarin) preschool three days a week in Atlanta.  I consider myself a near-native Spanish speaker, having lived and gone to school in Spain and Chile for 8+ years while growing up.  However, while my accent may be indistinguishableRead More ...

Ask an Expert: Is One Hour of Spanish A Week Enough for Kids to Become Bilingual?

“Hello and how are you? I just happened upon your site and love it. I have an older child now who is learning Spanish in middle-school, after French immersion in elementary, but am emailing to you as a Spanish teacher for young children. I have spent my professional career teaching Spanish to high school-aged students and older. However, now I am working with a few friends’ children; their parents want them to be exposed to Spanish and to become possiblyRead More ...

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