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I live in the US and both my wife and I speak English natively, but I studied Spanish and studied abroad as well. I feel like I could subscribe to OPOL to teach Spanish to my baby who is on the way, but I have a big worry surrounding it. I feel as though because I am not speaking in a language all the time that I am fully comfortable with, that I won’t be myself or completely comfortable in certain situations with my child. Will I miss out on moments where I could just have fun and relax and not worry about the language I am trying to speak, and is that worth trying to teach my daughter to speak a second language?

I’m guessing that I am not the only one with this concern – any help or advice would be appreciated!


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I could have written this!! I have a BA in Spanish and have studied abroad too. Can anyone give Bryan and I some perspective on this? Our baby is 7.5 months old and I have been speaking Spanish to her occasionally, but we are debating going full on….


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I am in the same boat – I finally just caved and am speaking Spanish about 80% of the time to my little one, with me reverting to English around other English speakers and when I get totally stressed/overwhelmed. I figure I’ll do the best I can and supplement with Spanish storytimes, playgroups and playdates, friends and hopefully preschool and immersion school. Hopefully whatever weirdness I might have (and not know about) in my speaking (since I’m a non-native speaker) will then be at least noticed by myself or my son before he picks it up. I was really concerned for a long while that if I, the primary caregiver, spoke so much to him in Spanish (which I am not as good at as English), that he might miss out on some important English bits or even some general language fluency patterns. Not knowing the research, and being too swamped to read it now, who knows? I just decided to throw my fears to the wind and give it my best. He’ll pick up on good English patterns from his daddy and others and hopefully we’re surrounding ourselves with enough other Spanish speakers that it will correct whatever mistakes I make. Here’s to hoping that’s enough!  I am interested in seeing others’ responses to this dilemma, too. [smile]  

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