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I’m new here and have a question concerning the method, that I teach my little boy. He is now 2 years old and speaks well polish, she has a very big active vocabulary. We always speak polish at home, as my husband and I are both native speakers. I also read a lot to her. As I am a working mom, my mother watches her during the week, she also speaks polish with her.

So, as we live in Germany, I thought, now is the time to introduce german to him (for me german is also my native language). In one year he will go to the kindergarten and I remember, how hard it was for me to not understand well the language, when first going into kindergarten. So I want it to be easier for him. 1 week ago I began to listen with him to german child songs and as long, as the cd goes (about 45-60 minutes) I speak german with him. Only german.

So far as I can see, it is no problem for him, not to understand me. For him it is just another funny play. In the evening we read german books (maybe 20-30 minutes a day), so his full exposure to german language at the moment is about 1-1.5 hours daily. Is this enough? And it doesn’t matter, that I speak and read two different languages to him? My plan is to stop speaking german at home, as soon, as he goes to kindergarten, because I don’t want him to speak german at home and forget polish.

I speak also english and spanish and would like to introduce this two languages later on (maybe in 6 months or so), by speaking and reading books. Maybe 1 hour every second day english, 1 hour every second day spanish or so….

What do you think about this plan? Wouldn’t it be more confusing, than beneficial for our son?

Thanks for your answer!
Kenley Pelzer

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I am dealing with similar issues since we cannot do OPOL in my home. I think the biggest problem with the system that you are discussing is that (as I have read on this website) hearing a language about 30% of the time is necessary for a child to master it. So an hour every other day with Spanish or English would probably not be enough.

Best of luck with whatever system you choose.

Jodi Spitler

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Hello Eva,

I’m currently doing OLOP with my daughter And so far, so good . However, my situation is quite different from yours (I’m American and my husband is Swiss German living in German speaking Switzerland)).

I have seen quite a few of the American children in my neighborhood suffer through what you describe. One thing that has helped them a lot, though is to play with other German speaking kids. Can you find some of the children that he may be attending kindergarten with? It sounds like what you are doing is working out well as your son seems to be enjoying your time together and learning something at the same time. I think you may find that the kindergarten transition only lasts 6 months to a year and then his German will be better than yours… Then you can go back to ML@H and perhaps add some exposure to the other languages you were mentioning.

HTH and good luck

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