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Patricia Faura
  Reply with quote  #1 
Hi there,
We are a Spanish family living in UK. Our 3 daughters (3, 5 and 6 y.o) are totally bilingual in English and Spanish and have been exposed to German since they were born. They actually learnt (and spoke) German before English as we used to have (until 6 months ago) a German au pair with us that talked only in German to them. Once the older children started school they gradually stopped talking in German but they still understand it. We live in the countryside and there are not too many options to expose them to German (neither my husband or myself speak a word of German which doesn’t help). I have recently met a German lady with a bilingual son and once a week my daughters  meet and play in German (1 hour). Additionally they watch children films in German  (2 or 3 times a week max.). Actually they are only allowed to watch films in German (we don’t have TV) and they are quite happy about it. Could anyone give me some advice on how to increase their exposure to German or where to access good German resources for children of that age? Due to their ages, I feel I really need to push their German now to establish it as their third language.
Patricia Faura
Living in Scotland, bilingual parents, trilingual kids
English, Spanish and German 
  Reply with quote  #2 
Just found this board.

I wonder if you could get your children to teach you German. A bonding experience even?
When they get older, perhaps there would be the possibility of formalizing your German lessons — even attaching a nominal payment, similar to what some families do when children complete housework.  After all the language is a skill with economic significance.

Audio such as CDs have been helpful for us.  They can play in the semi-background while child plays with his toys, and they don’t have the negative effects attributed to too much video screen time (as far as I know).
Youtube etc. can be good too… in particular the videos tend to be short.  Also, one could maybe find an online classroom service for children, or put out an ad seeking a private tutor.

All the best in helping your children retain the gift of their early language exposure.

East Coast USA
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