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I am living in the US and have two children ages 3 yrs and 17 months. I am a native english speaker and my husband is German, but is also fluent in English and we have only been speaking English in our home. We would like to introduce German now but don’t know how to start, especially with the 3year old. Our goal is for my husband to speak only german to the children. Up until now he has been only reading an occasional book to them in german. The 3 yr old is quite talkative and my husband worries that if he suddenly switches to German that they won’t be able to talk to each other any more and it will affect their relationship. We have read the section on starting with older kids but still had some questions.

Also my father in law is coming from Germany next week. We have spoken English every other visit because he is also fluent in English. While this is a great language opportunity, my father in law hasnt seen my 3 yr old in a yr and half- since he started talking- and my concern with them only speaking German is that my child doesn’t know any and they won’t be able to get to know each other.

When you start with an older child is it best to introduce it slowly or change languages overnight?

If my husband changes languages overnight is he supposed to start by saying everything (having the same conversations he normally would) in German and then translate into English? Does he revert back to more simple conversations like we have with the 17 month old?

I understand and speak some German. Should I speak a little with my husband around the kids or avoid doing so because they could pick up a very bad accent?

What are recommendations as far as my father in laws visit?

Outside of the home does my husband still speak to our children in German?

If anyone has recommendations on books or other resources that deal specifically with older children we would appreciate it

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I dont think, it may cause any problem for your kid.
I am a Pakistani living in Germany. My wife is a native German speaker and she only speaks German with our 2.10 years old Son.

I have started speaking Urdu with him since 2012.
In the beginning, it was difficult. My son did not understand me well and was little reluctant too (but my son is a slow speaker anyways).

We sought all sorts of help, and since october last year, he has sort of started finding it lot easy to express himself.

Since October last year, he has started going to the Pre-Kindergarten twice a week.

But now he does not want to speak Urdu with me anymore!! He wants me to speak only German with him.
I have to make it interesting for him to answer me back in Urdu. 
I read books to him in Urdu and he answers back in German.

He understand me well but is quite reluctant to answer back in Urdu.
Actually, He has started going to Pre-Kindergarten and now he finds it easy to speak only German.

I am not going to give it up speaking Urdu as my parents wishes to visit us soon in Summer and I was also thinking on the same lines as you do.

I have litteraly started praying that he learns my language.

best regards



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