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I am a Spanish native speaker, I speak occasionally in English with my girl (5 years old), I really didn’t start “teaching” her English before because I adopted her last year and was very busy taking care of her health issues, also because she has learning difficulties and I didn’t want to push her too hard, she had enough learning simple things like counting to 10.

Now most of these problems are fixed, she still has learning difficulties but I think she is ready to learn English, she has English classes at school (short and mostly weak classes) so she’s quite used to the language but I would like her to learn French in the future, I struggle with French and never was able to learn it, I do understand very basic French but pronunciation was a HUGE problem to me.

So making her listen to music and watch cartoons in French can help her in the future? I will not teach her French (because I don’t know it) only make her listen to the language. Is a good idea or a waste of time? I would love to try French again but I can’t find classes on my free time.

Erik K

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To answer this, we need to know some things.

What country will you be raising the child in?

What languages can/will the people in the child’s life speak to her?

You could talk to a doctor or psychologist who specializes in child learning disabilities. Ask if you can teach the three languages without causing problems.

She will learn French better if she plays with French speaking children. Search the web for French language play-groups in your area, or advertise that you are searching for families with kids about 5 years old who speak French natively.


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Thanks for your reply… we live in Paraguay, so it’s quite hard find French native speakers and French classes here are for kids 7 years old an up, my girl is 5. I want her to study French in 2-3 years so I would like to “introduce” her to this new language now and hope that will help her in the future, she’s like a little parrot now, repeats everything she hears (sometimes is very annoying) so I want to take some advantage on that.

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You know… I was thinking about my post and them I remembered something about myself… I learned Portuguese that way!!! only listening, we move the triple frontier (Paraguay-Brazil and Argentina) when I was 3, I watched cartoons in Portuguese all day long, of course I had some contacts with native speakers so that helped a lot but my girl loves to watch music videos in Portuguese and movies too.

I’ve never worried about her learning Portuguese because is something she will learn no matter what, so now I think that making her listen to French will help a lot!!! also because I didn’t study English until I was 15 but I was so used to listen to music and watch movies in English that I hadn’t had any problem at all learning English.

Erik K

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Because you live in a Spanish speaking country, your daughter will learn that language for sure. So you could speak English to her all the time. You said her English classes were “short and mostly weak”, so she needs to hear the language from you often.

I assume that you don’t personally know any native English speakers who are available for her. But you can post a message on some Paraguay-related web forums; say that you are looking for a native English speaking kid for your daughter to play with. She will be much more motivated to speak English if her own child friend speaks it.

Because you live close to Brazil, wouldn’t it be valuable for her to actually talk using Portuguese too? I don’t understand why you think it “is something she will learn no matter what”. Do they teach it in school, or do kids sometimes speak it?

Maybe you could speak English at home and Portuguese when out of the house.

Even though native French speakers are difficult to find there, maybe you will get lucky. I still think that you should post a message on any Paraguay-related web forums; say that you are looking for a native French speaking child for your daughter to play with.

Or maybe you can find some forums that parents in France will read. Ask if any families will be visiting your area for a holiday. Perhaps you can offer to give them useful information about your area, and maybe act as a temporary nanny so that the French parents have a little free time. Explain that you want their kids to speak French to your own child. I don’t know how your child and the French children will react to each other, but maybe this will work.


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