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OK, I’m English, living in England and want to teach my little one Spanish (I am more or less fluent but not a native speaker), however, hubby, friends and family don’t speak a word of Spanish.  I was going to go for the OPOL system and only speak Spanish to her.  Hubby and I are both happy to go for this option.  I was worried that hubby would feel left out but he’s fine about it.  So I will be speaking only Spanish (she is due in May) and he will speak only English.

My concern is that all my friends and family only speak English so if I go shopping with say my mother and our daughter, how do I communicate with my mother without confusing our daughter?  Is it ok to use English when I am with our daughter as well as other people is basically my question.
Thanks in advance for any advice


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Hello, I am doing the same thing with my son – raising him in an English environment, with OPOL (mother fluent French, Father English).    He is 20 months old now and he understands basic words in both languages.  In French company, of course Iuse French.  In English company (family and local friends) I speak English to them and French to him.  It means doing a lot of consecutive translation, which can be a little difficult, but it is possible.  The challenge comes with strangers or service providers – in that case, I have a general rule that I look directly at the person to whom I am speaking (which is a good behaviour to teach children anyway), while using the conosecutive translation.   It seems to work, because my son notes that I am speaking to another person, but he takes more of an interest in what I am sqying when I look at him to speak in French.

I hope this helps.
1. Trinidad and Tobago
2. French / English
3. 20 mths
4. OPOL – Mother French, Father English


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