1. Living in England
2. Father speaks native Arabic/fluent English – Mother speaks English only (trying to learn Arabic)
3. Newborn baby (due any day now!!!
4. Considering OPOL but Mother wanting to learn too!
My husband and I have always been in agreement that we want our baby to be fluent in both English and Arabic, but that the Arabic was going to be the one we need to consciously work at since baby will be exposed to a lot of English anyway.
We’ve been together 2 years and I’ve been learning bits of Arabic in that time from an online course and exposure to his family during holidays/visits, but (I’m sorry to say) with varying degrees of dedication, and I’m nowhere near a level where I can express myself clearly even in normal day to day tasks.
Until I looked into it a bit more and started to read that you actually need a method to separate the languages, I had hoped that I would learn from my husband alongside my baby which would rapidly escalate my own learning/give me more of an incentive.
Here’s what we had envisaged happening:
-Him speaking to the baby only in Arabic, but then translating to me anything I didn’t understand.
-Me trying to join in conversations in Arabic whenever I could and also practicing Arabic with my husband around the baby when I can.
– My husband and I still speaking with each other in English most of the time in order to live day to day life, as that’s what we’re used to and I’m really not good enough to function in Arabic yet.
-Doing bits of Arabic learning with my baby when I’m home alone with him…perhaps looking at basic books with shapes/colours/animals etc. (Obviously I would need to learn them with my husband first to make sure I was saying them right)
I wanted to do this because I know that with my husband working full time and me staying at home with the baby, he’ll have a lot less time to devote to the baby and I wanted to give him a helping hand.
So that was my little plan in my head! But having read all the info on here and elsewhere I’m worrying now that all of this will confuse my baby.
If my Arabic was better already I would love to use the ML@H method for that, but at the moment it seems we have to use the OPOL approach…unless this mix can work???
Or can we change methods half way through as my Arabic improves?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
PS. My formatting seems to have messed up as I copied and pasted this in…apologies, this was unintentional!