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I’m expecting my son in 2 months and I have some problems with what languages to teach him and how. My boyfriend and I live in Sweden so Swedish is a must, and we speak Spanish most of the time so Spanish seems to be a logical 2nd. We’ve pretty much agreed on that, to speak both languages so that our son can learn both at once.


However, there’s the problem about schools. We figured a Swedish daycare would be good so he can learn Swedish WELL, and then change him to an international school when he’s around 5.. Now I don’t know whether or not to put him in an English or in a French one. I speak both fluently and went to that same French school for 10 years, and the pros for that school is that he probably won’t learn French well unless he actually starts there. He’ll learn English even if he doesn’t go to an English school, but I’m worried he might not learn it well (French schools suck at teaching English and we’ll already have 2 languages at home) and since I speak English with many family members, I would like for him to speak it well. But that means no French…


What do you think? Is it too much with 3 languages? And what would be the smartest move; an English or a French school??


Thanks a lot for your help!



List Moderator

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It is purely a matter of personal preference and taste (do I choose the red dress or the blue one?). You’ll have to decide what is most important for you and what language will be most useful for the future of your child.

However, your strategy seems ideal for three languages with Swedish as the community language, Spanish as the ML@H and a foreign speaking school (French or English). It is not too much and will likely result in a trilingual tot with very balanced language skills.

Helen San

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I grew up trilingual, along with many of my friends, by living in a majority language country, having a minority language spoken at home, and attending a school using a 3rd language.  All of us will tell you, of course it is not too much.  It is like asking of eating rice, potatoes, AND bread is too much carbs.   Our brains are fully capable of language diversity as our stomachs are capable of diet diversity. 

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