A few months ago, before opening this vlog, I read an article about bilingual children in a magazine. I will translate and summarize some sentences:
In each form of bilingualism […] it is better for the child to start by learning just one language. He should start learning the other at the age of 4 to avoid problems such as stuttering or a loss of words (from Insieme, “il lungo viaggio delle parole”, January, 2008, p. 96).
I have often read articles about bilingualism like the one quoted above. There are also many posts on the web where it is claimed that bilingual children speak later or they know one of the languages better. Obviously, I can only speak about my own experiences, but this description does not match that of my daughter. My husband and I are a bilingual couple, in the sense that I am Italian and I also speak English, my husband is English, but he also speaks Italian. Our daughter, at the age of only 2, speaks both Italian and English. She understands the differences between the two languages and when she speaks with her father in English and I ask her, “What are you talking about?”, she repeats the dialogue in Italian. She can tell stories in both the languages and she talks on the telephone with English and Italian relatives.
When did we start? Immediately… even before her birth! My husband started to talk to her before she was born:
“Hi sweetheart!! Daddy is waiting for you!!”
During my pregnancy I had the opportunity to meet and talk with bilingual couples. I trusted them and their advice was: “Start immediately !! If you are a bilingual couple each parent speaks his or her own language, as if you had to teach him a single language!!”
I will continue the argument in my next posts….. Meanwhile look at our bilingual “Old McDonald’s Farm” video!!!