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Hello, I am new to this site although my husband and I have been trying to raise a multilingual child at home for more than one year. Here is our situation: My husband is native Spanish speaker so he only speaks spanish with our son (who is now 19 months old). I am native English speaker but am bilingual so I speak only in Italian with our son. We have a part time nanny who only speaks Spanish.  My husband and I speak English to each other. My immediate family is bilingual (English and Italian) and at times speak to our son in English while at other times in Italian (I realize this is not ideal). We live in the US so most of the kids he exposed to outside of the family  speak in English. So far our son seems to be doing well with differentiating the languages. He Speaks Spanish with dad and nanny and speaks Italian with me. Seems like with my immediate family he attempts to speak Italian. He is quiet when just with kids or adults who speak English but seems to understand them and will often times repeat what he hears. We were hoping that he will solidify English at School in the future and are not worried so much about that at this point.Some questions:
-I am not sure what system we would fit under in terms of the categories on this site
-Is it ok that we don’t have a common language at home (e.g. I speak to son in Italian, husband speaks to him in Spanish, but my husband and I speak to each other even when around our son in English) or would it be better to have a common language that is spoken between the 3 of us? 

Any advise is appreciated!!!!!
Immersion Parent

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You are doing great – just stay consistent and try to use all three languages.  In time, your child will sort everything out!

Here are a few links you may find helpful:

Many interesting interviews with familys who are raising their kids bilingual, many trilingual.  If you hit the “previous” link on the bottom of each page, it keeps going back:

A great article about a child brought up with three languages, much like yours:

I just wanted to offer my support for what you are doing.  Keep up the good work!  The gift of being multilingual will be worth it!!

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Wow, well done! It seems that your system is using the three languages simultaneously. I would think that if you have a one common language (your last point), that does not allow for three but only 2 languages to be used. One consideration could be to switch the language you and your husband use when together with baby to be different than English as the baby seems to get lots of English exposure with community. 

I am in a similar situation: I am Italian, my husband Peruvian, we live in London; we speak Spanish together, but use a lot of English words too. My baby is 7 weeks and I am trying to figure out how to used the three languages equally. 

I am trying to use Italian exclusively, which is quite hard for me, as I don’t automatically think/speak Italian any more. [all my relatives speak Italian only]

My husband speaks to the baby in Spanish, and when we are together we do a mixture of Spanish/English. 

The challenge I have is that I am not very consistent with any language, i.e. I mix them up- how do you maintain consistency? was that difficult/any tips?

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My case was similar as my first language is Sapanish and my wife’s first language is french. We used to live in LA so the plan was: Dad speaks spanish to the child, mom speaks french to the child and English will be used in society /school or with friends. We have now moved to Paris and I would like to get your advise on how to take care of teaching english to the child?

Many thanks in advance and happy holidays!


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