People are always surprised when they meet me and my family and they hear us talk. I always speak to my children in Spanish and they always answer back in English, we have always done this and for us it’s normal but strangers find it a bit weird.
When I was pregnant I had this idea that I’d always talk to my children in Spanish, that they’d be able to visit my family in Spain and talk to their relatives in my language, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. My children understand everything in Spanish but they don’t want to speak it.
I have read a bit into the subject and apparently their behaviour is normal, children should not be forced, and they should not see speaking another language as a chore. I keep saying to them that knowing Spanish is cool and we could talk between ourselves a no one else around would know what we are talking about – a bit like a secret code, but they still don’t want to do it.
There are many advantages of speaking more than one language, bilingual children are supposed to have better analytical, social and academic skills.
I always get told things like “Don’t give up, carry on speaking to them in Spanish, one day they will speak it” or “Don’t give up, teaching them another language is the best gift you can give them. Yes, I know, I know, but I don’t want to be reminded millions of times, especially by random strangers.
I will not give up, I will carry on as we are. I have been living in the UK for nearly 20 years but I am Spanish after all, my kids are half Spanish and I really think it’s really important for them to understand this, and hopefully one day we will be able to speak to each other in my language.
Has anyone got any tips or advice in raising bilingual children? I’d love to hear what other people do