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My husband and I live in Barcelona where Catalan is the primary language taught in the public school system. I’m Mexican American and on the cusp of calling myself a bilingual English-Spanish speaker (my dominant language is English) I never learned Spanish formerly I just spoke it at home with my mother so I know enough to get by. My husband is English and only understands a little Spanish.

Im a stay at home mom so I spend 90% of my time with my son, now 8 months, and I currently only speak English to him. Should I worry that if we opt for OPOL that my son won’t have English as his dominant language, since my husband works a lot and won’t have as much play and developing language time with him? The community language is Catalan, but amongst our local friends we speak English. Castilian is taught very minimally in public schools. He will defiantly be fluent in Catalan, but I want him to learn Castilian just as well since it’s the most useful compared to Catalan around the world.

Also how do people here feel about, or do you have any experience with, echoing the secondary language after the primary? “Look” – “Mira”.

I haven’t found much online on the success of that method so I’m hesitant in experimenting it.

Thank you,

Living in Barcelona, Spain

Maria – dominant language English

Secondary language Spanish

Husband- English speaker

Currently only speaking English at home

Community language- Catalan

Secondary community language – Castilian

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That depend on what u hope to achieve at the end of the day. What type of language proficiency you hope your child will achieve?

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Hi Maria,
It looks like he will speak English and Catalan well.
If you introduce Spanish in discs, films or with childminding he will also pick it up, now or a bit later.
You will need to find out a way of supporting him through early schooling if he does this in Catalan I think, so it may be worth for you to learn the basics…
I hope this helps. Try to find people who have older children in a similar situation, they may be able to give you more advice. Don’t trust the local specialist who are not trained in multilingualism when assessing your child’s global development…
Good luck!

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