This is the fifth post from my series about raising our daughter as non-native speakers #1 #2 #3 #4.
Trilingualism via Spanish
It's going to be much shorter than the previous ones, but I am so happy and proud about the outcomes of our progress on bilingualism nurture style.
I consider Julia's English as Mission complete. Sure, there is a lot to work on during her life in this area, like being able to nicely read and get domain-specific vocabulary. But she fully understands and talks fluently. She also doesn't have too strong Czech accent - on the contrary - we almost melt when we heard her say "a bat" as if she was from the US...
The next mission seems to be conquering Spanish. We started during the lockdown in March, by downloading a few apps and showing her Peppa Pig Espanol and recently Princessa Sophia. Sure, it's in English as well as Czech, but we did present the Espanol version first and Julia just prefers Spanish version since then. Additionally, she has a Spanish teacher in the kindergarten we explicitly asked to speak in Spanish to her (so she gets some real-life Spanish native exposure). Lastly, my girlfriend and our roommate are playing with her in Spanish, and they can just spend hours now talking just in Spanish without switching back to English or Czech. I don't understand them - it's for the first time Julia is clearly outperforming me in some aspect I would find useful 🙌💪. And I am glad she did. Other than that, we didn't really do that much. By the way, even if she didn't have Spanish speakers around she could practice, I feel that just the Youtube in Spanish was helping her to move slowly.
Is it manipulation? Well, I would call it designing environment. Sorry, Julia - when you read this, keep in mind we did these because we love you and it was actually harder this way than the default...
What's next!? We may wait a bit now, but not for long. We have an opportunity for French through our roommate, but not sure how much added value there is (and Julia doesn't seem to like). I would like to give it a shot with something like more exotic like Chinese. I feel that every additional language is now going to be "harder to force" (because Julia knows that on youtube are already-easily-understandable versions of stuff she likes). Also, Polgar said a language per year for her girls, so we are still one language behind 😁!