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Amin Alavi

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Dear all;
We are a Persian/Danish family of 4, mom, dad, son 10y and daughter 4y. We live in Switzerland. We have a kind-of-problem with our daughter (no problem with our son). She is four but she does not talk very well (last year we went to a logoped and he said she is a year behind her age-level). At home we speak Danish to her and to each other. She goes to German Kindergarden and watches German TV and the nanny speaks English to her. She understands all three languages very well and she knows the difference between the languages. She also makes some complete 4-5 words sentences in Danish and German. But her speech is not fluent. Although she is very happy with her kindergarden, the teachers say she does not play with the other kids and does not say much.
On the positive side: she is very good with numbers, her fine-motoric is perfect, she can write letters and numbers and I suspect she can read.

Since she will start German-preschool after summer, we are worried about her ability to communicate with other kids in German (not to mention that we really worry about her communication with us)

Is it normal? Should we do something desperate, foe example move to Denmark? How long can it take before she speaks better (at least up to her age level)? Are there any advice you can give us?

thanks for your help


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Hi, I have a boy of 5 years old I´m italian my husband swedish and we spoke to each other english. We have exactly the same problems as your daughter and now we start to talk only italian because we went to logopedist who says that he is pretty late with the language. This has provocated in him problem with communicate with other people and he doesn t pay attention to the things.

He speaks in simple sentence, he doesn t say I or you . He knows all numbers till 100 all letters and in the school doesn t speak too much and do not consider the others. Outside the school he likes to play with kids but when is the time that they gather to talk he gets on a side .

We do not really know if the three languages has made all this mess but is sure that it did not help.

Now his doing speech theraphy and hopefully is going to be better

Ciao ”’Mariselena

Let me know thanks

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Dear Mariselena;

Thanks for your mail. Yes it sounds like a similar situation. But as you know each situation is unique. having said that, I talked to many specialists (brain, psykologists, legoterapeuts etc.) and most of them say that it has nothing to do with the number of languages (but they cannot disprove it either. A brain specialists told me that our brain is capable of learning 6000 languages. However, I quess 3 is the max to begin with. Our dauther´s situation has improved very much and she is actually making sense.

Regarding your son just keep on trying without making him feel bad or anything. It is supposed to be fun. and all I talked to say that one should not understimate kids´ ability to understand and learn. But it sj´hould not be like a class-room teaching environment, where you teach your son how to talk. It is simply by talking, listening, playing and encouraging. speech terapists know lots of games through which they stimulate kids learning. So it will defenatly help.

and finally, I don´t think his lack of concentration got anything to do with his talking-thing. So if there is not a problem behind it, he is just not interested in concentrating. Which brings me to my starting point. Kids are different and we should enjoy this difference and not get too worried about things.




Natalia campos

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Dear Marielena,

I have just been reading your mail, I am english and speak to my daughter in english my husband is spanish and we live in spain so her surrounding are spanish nursery was spanish, school is spainsh apart from me and dvds thats all the english,,,

I am very worried about my little girl she will be 4 in june and dosen´t talk much, at school they bought to my attention that she dosen´t relate with other children, and dosen´t talkto anyone they actually thought she was deaf, both me and my husband were in shock, as at home shes fine she dosen´t talk much but shes tries and she relates well with other children if we go to the park she will play with who evers there, so the problem just seems to be at school ever so the little talk that she is doing seems to be more english,, now at school they have told me she appears to be absent in class yet i know she is paying attention as i hear her at home maybe counting in spainish and letters ,,,i am so worried noe that i have stopped talking in english and now talk to her in spainsh as i am bilingual, i´m not sure what the problem is but its somthing,


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Hello Amin thanks to your advice . Since my son goes to logotherapist he talks more and more in italian. We have taken away the other languages even if is courius to learn the words in english and in swedish. We went also to three different brain doctors and they say exactly the same like to you: nothing to do with the language!!!! Anyway the therapy has helped him a lot and it make easy for him to communicate with the other kids. He needs a lot of push but he is really a happy and smart boy.

I ´d like to keep in contact with both of you

here it is my e-mail

[email protected]

Ciao e grazie Mariselena

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Hello Natalia As I told to Amin My son has started the speech therapy , Now he talks very much and he is making progress. He needs time to reach the same level as the other kids of his age but at least he can communicate with them. Maybe you need to check your daughter and if she needs a bit of therapy it is always good,. They know the games and the way to let them talk. I hope that she gonna be fine soon. Let me know


[email protected]

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Hello Amin, Natalia and Mariselena.
 I am Sorry to intrude on your post and i hope you don’t mind  but I would just like to say that I am very reassured reading these messages as I have been having the same type of problems with my 3 year old son  (bilingual French and English)   I always have his nursery school teacher saying to me ‘oh he doesn’t join in the activities,  he doesn’t speak with the other children and like Natalia  the teacher has asked me if i thought my child had hearing difficulties and so on.
If you look further down the page you will see my question about normal behavior for a 3 year old , We went to see a pediatrician and he was very encouraging.
I was beginning to get very worried for a while there,  to me my sons teacher seemed to be concentrating only on the negative and i feel like saying to her  ‘well haven’t you got anything positive to say?’ I feel very much like saying this  But i keep my mouth shut . I ask her well ‘Is he well behaved? is he polite? does he always say please and thank you ?  he doesn’t disrupt the other children?  and she can’t find any problem with these things  All these things are positive and important too.
My son is the only bilingual child in the class and sometimes i feel very strongly that she is not allowing for this nor that he is the only child who needs to wear spectacles. My husband is on holiday from work today so he is going to school to talk with her.
reading these posts it seems that it is not uncommon for multi language children to seem a little ‘slower’ or uncommunicative in comparison with children who have only one language.


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