On the iPad which is why this post lacks coherent grammar and pretty much everything else.
Well I originally started this blog to discuss my son’s acquisition of Japanese and English, so I guess I better get back on track and discuss it a bit.
I’ll start at the beginning.
I met a handsome and tall japanese man in america. His English really was not super great, and my Japanese nonexistent. To make a (very) long story short, we got married. Our relationship has ALWAYS been in English. Living in Japan, I am thankful for this. Our home language is English and that helps my son with English.
I have always spoken to my son in English. I never mixed. I wouldn’t say my son was an early talker, but he has come along rather nicely withou major problems. He does sometimes have a speech impediment. (he does not have one in Japanese.)
My husband also speaks primarily to our son in English, though he sometimes switches to Japanese–which is fine. I think it is important for him to choose what sort of relationship he wants with our son.
I was quite worried in the early stages. Before my son got his two languages sorted out. But sort them out he did and quite nicely, IMO. He is a good little bilingual. Languages are not even his strong point, he is a math and science kid.
One thing I want to add. When we are with certain people who don’t speak English, I switch to Japanese with my son. It has NEVER hurt his language ability. I don’t give a shit what you think–I think it is rude to speak in a foreign language while conversing in Japanese. My husband, ironically, doesn’t always switch, which I find a bit rude, but he is the sort of person who doesn’t give a shit if he is speaking a foreign language in front of a Japanese person. Weird,huh.
Okay, where was I. Now that my son has reached a certain age, he is completely aware of his bilingualism. I still use only English with him, and he with me. However, we’ll make Japanese related jokes and so forth. When the occasion calls for it.
I won’t say that bilingualism just happens without any work. Time is involved and communication is necessity. I’ve always made an effort to talk to my son and teach him things, rather than just assume it will magically happen.
Okay, that’s pretty much it. The hardest part of it is reading and writing. That’s a whole nother barrel of worms.