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I live in the U.S, and while my native language is English, I grew up in Guatemala/Chile/Uruguay and am bilingual in Spanish.  My husband lived in Argentina for 2 years and minored in Spanish in College.  He speaks Spanish, but would not be considered bilingual.

We are pregnant with our first and trying to choose the best method for teaching him/her both languages.  Originally we considered doing the OPOL method with myself speaking Spanish to our children and my husband speaking English (he does not feel he is strong enough in Spanish be the predominate Spanish parent).  My concern is that my husband is a pilot in the military and travels quite and bit, and is deployed for months at a time.  I worry that if he is the “English” parent, our children will grow up lacking in the language due to his absence and fall behind. It is important to me for our children to grow up strong in both languages.  Unfortunately, we don’t live close to family to help supplement in either language.

I am obviously completely new at this. Do you have any suggestions?  Is it possible for one parent to do both languages adequately alone and have the second parent supplement when he/she is around?  How do single parents do it?

thanks in advance!


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I think either OPOL or ML@H would work for your situation, but I absolutely think you should speak Spanish at home. When the kids go to school, they will get plenty of English.

I am American, married to a Frenchman, living in France; and we primarily use ML@H (ML being English). My older son started preschool at 3.5 and it took a few months but now his French is just as good as any other child’s of the same age. My main concern is for him to get as much English as possible since we have few English-speaking friends for him to get much exposure to it.

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