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Hi!  I just found this website yesterday and there is a wealth of information here.  I wanted to know if others have tried this method for their own children (possibly an OPOL).

Both my wife and I speak Cantonese and English and we live in the US.  We want our baby daughter (7 months) to also pick up Spanish, French, and Mandarin.

So currently, we are speaking to her in Cantonese and I figure that she will pick up English through the community.  There are a lot of resources and language schools where we live and the plan is to introduce a new language each year while she is still young.  I will learn and start speaking to her in Spanish (probably short phrases) while my wife and our extended family will continue to speak to her in Cantonese.  At 2 years old, we will enroll her in a weekend Spanish class.  At 3 years, we can sign her up for a partial French immersion preschool and continue in a full immersion public/private elementary school.  At 4 years, she will take a weekend Mandarin class.  Both weekend programs would continue until 12th grade.  It gives her a year to set a foundation for each language.

Assuming that she will be receptive to these languages, we plan to sign her up to immersion summer camp for a variety of these language every summer so she can maintain them.

What are your thoughts or suggestions?  Have you tried something similiar to this and how did it go?



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We have similar plan but might do it a little bit differently. My son is two years old now. We all speak Mandarin at home to him and have weekend Classic Chinese reading class for him and our friends’ kids. Now he can speak some sentence from Laozi and other reading himself and recognize some Chinese words. He spends three days in Chinese day care and two days in Spanish toddler class now. His Chinese is 3 years old level. His spanish is 1 year old level. He can only listen and repeat after the teacher for Spanish. Can not make sentence yet. He picks up his English from both schools. At this time, he knows the difference of the three languages. We are wondering whether we need to send him to French school for pre-k next year. He might forget his Spanish and Chinese soon. There will be a Chinese immersion charter school in Boston area soon from kindergarten to grade 8. We plan to let him to to this public school. Don’t have a better idea about how to keep his Spanish at this time if he goes to French school next year. Personally he likes to go to Chinese school instead of Spanish school due to cultural recognition issue. He starts his Spanish school at 18 months. Cries when arrives school. Now he is better when he gets familiar with teachers and classmates. Hope this help.


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We have five languages at home but it is because we have four nationalities in our family and live in a fifth country. Cannot fathom why you would want to put this much pressure on such a tiny child if it isn’t to communicate with her loved ones. I can promise you that learning to read and write will be an absolute nightmare if you don’t narrow it down. Currently our 7 year old girls must learn to read and write perfectly in German or they will get sent back a class. So only speaking and browsing casually at the english and french books, with low key (fun) classes at school. Italian and Swedish is spoken with no pressure for them to respond in said language. Again, just casual playing around with recognising words. Read Tracey Tokohama. Hard to motivate a child to learn a language if their is no love link there. Speaking Spanish, French and Italian fluently, I can tell you that if you learn one well, the rest are easy. Just pick one and then add another when she is 10-12.

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