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What language do your kids speak?

Mightymouse
post 18.Apr.2006, 12:09 PM
Post #31
Joined: 20.Feb.2006

My 2 cents: I have a son born in Australia he moved here at 2 years old and never spoke a word of Swedish until he moved into the Swedish system at 6. (He was at an english 'dagis' and then school before that) He moved to a Swedish school at 6 is now 7 and speaks fluent Swedsih.

My daughter was born here. Both her father and I are native english speakers so she got her swedish training at dagis. She now understands both languages, but speaks mainly Swedish, but will translate for me when I'm not listening well enough for her liking.

I use Swedish words when they suit me and I let my kids know the english words for them as needed, my son's grammar is declining into Swedish grammar now, but its no worse than the grammar I have heard in Australia, on occasion, from Adults so I'm sure he will survive.
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*Billy*
post 18.Apr.2006, 07:13 PM
Post #32


Married to an Aussie wrote:

QUOTE
Even though it's every child's RIGHT to get Modersmål, everyone DOESN'T get it.
I believed my children would have the right to it but when they started school we were told it's up to each kommun what rules they have. In the kommun where we live, there need to be at least 5 children who require English as modersmål. The last two years there haven't been enough applicants so my kids don't get it. Very disappointing. So, I think you should check what rules your kommun have on modersmål. I took it for granted that my kids would get it when we moved to Sweden and here we are with no modersmål for the kids.


First of all I would like to apoligise to "Married to a Aussie". I was completely unaware that "Modersmål" was at the discression of the "Kommun". I live in Stockholm where there is a high concentration of English speaking natives and therefor this was never a problem.
In the school that my kids attend, there is a total of 250 students and of those, 20 have English as their mother tongue.

To married to a Swede:

QUOTE
Here's what we did on the other side of the pond...

My husband is Swedish and I have never lived there. When my kids were born I had taken some Swedish classes but my reading was much better than my spoken language. Husband and I spoke primarily English at home, with a few Swedish words thrown in.

We decided that since there were really no other opportunities for them to learn Swedish other than at home, we would speak as much Swedish as possible with them. My husband spoke (and continues to speak) exclusively Swedish with them both inside and outside the home (even in situations of "mixed company" where there are non-Swedish speakers present -- we or the kids just translate as needed). I speak a mixture of Swedish and English. My theory is that we have been learning together, and my own Swedish has improved dramatically. I have never worried much about teaching them the wrong thing in Swedish as I can look things up or call my in-laws, or my husband will correct me -- and now my kids correct me more often than he does.

My husband has been a stickler about Swedish only and it has paid off big time. Now we are lucky enough to have the kids in a Swedish school on Saturdays and they are among the most fluent ones there.

If the situation were reversed and we moved to Sweden, I'm sure that I would speak mostly English with them in the home so they would not lose their ability in English.

It's been interesting. We had periods where my daughter would refuse to speak Swedish at all. She understood everything her father said, but would answer in English. We've just finished a period where both kids would not speak Swedish to ME even if I spoke it with them.

Honestly I think the best advice from my point of view is to bombard the child with as much of the non-country language as possible, since they will get the native language everywhere around them. Try to be mellow about it and not freak out if you feel like you're having a setback. Be consistent with whatever method you choose and eventually they will catch on.

Lycka till!


WELL DONE M8 !!!!!!!!


To Muckle:

QUOTE
School's a LONG way off but thanks for the tip about "Modersmål", Billy - had no idea about that. Also, as you did, I think the time spent in the English-language country (conveniently, England, in my case) is going to be very important.

The one thing I disagree with is the comment that Swedes are rubbish at English. There's quite a variation - which I've noticed the longer I've been here - but in general I have nothing but respect for Swedes' ability with English.


Couldn't agree more Buddy. ESPECIALLY regarding comment about Swedes and their English. :x
In my job, i speak mainly Swedish, but every now and then I get lost for words, and have to revert to English. This has never been a problem. My wife's Grandmother was 86 when she passed away, and Spoke PERFECT English. Her nephew is 10 and is the same.
Swedes should be proud of their ability to speak English!!!!!!!!

To The Perp:

QUOTE
I?ve two kids (mother?s Swedish) and I only speak English to them. My advice? Never speak Swedish ? ever. Let the child?s mother and her family take care of his or hers Swedish-language needs. Immerse the kid in the English language through books, CDs and so on and mix with other ex-pats in a similar situation. Resist the temptation to use Swedish words when English ones will suffice.


Great advice M8!

Finally,

My wife and I decided to return to Sweden back in 2003 so that our children would have the oppotunity to understand their Swedish Heritage. Like most Aussies, I'm extremly proud of my AUSTRALIAN herritage, so I thought it was important for my kids to feel the same about their Swedish background. What better way then to start their school years here. Unfortunately we have decided to move back to Australia in the summer of 2007. Permanently. ( I can't handle Göran Persson any more) laugh.gif
When we get there, we will keep up the Swedish with the children. Both Children have dual citizenship and this can only be an asset to them in later life.

I have have really enjoyed this forum immensly. Maybe the next one we can discuss over a few coldies !

Best of luck to all

Billy
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Scooby
post 18.Apr.2006, 07:57 PM
Post #33
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

Hi

Just to add our experiences to this discussion. Father english, mother swedish, two boys as children, lived in london until boys were 9 yrs and 11yrs, when in 2002 moved to Sweden.
Mother in England always spoke Swedish to kids from day they were born, and father spoke English, we also visited Sweden often during their younger ages having contact with the immediate family. Now in 2006, after nearly four years schooling in Sweden, both fluent in both languages, but still we insist that home, they speak english to Dad and Swedish to Mum. Remember kids are amazing and can soak up information and languages as sponges unlike us older folks!! But the important part, is the identifying and learning of the languages with each parent.

Just to back up previous comments re modersmål teaching, we live in a very small town in the middle of the forest known as Småland, and had not the option of private modersmål teaching in English due to lack of numbers, so check beforehand!!

Good luck to you!!
Scooby
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Married To An Aussie
post 18.Apr.2006, 08:06 PM
Post #34
Joined: 4.Feb.2006

[quote="Billy"]Married to an Aussie wrote:

[quote]First of all I would like to apoligise to "Married to a Aussie". I was completely unaware that "Modersmål" was at the discression of the "Kommun". I live in Stockholm where there is a high concentration of English speaking natives and therefor this was never a problem.
In the school that my kids attend, there is a total of 250 students and of those, 20 have English as their mother tongue.
[/quote]


Billy, you don't need to apologise. I just don't want anyone to think the kids will get modersmål and than they don't get it. We fully counted on that the kids would get it when we moved here to Sweden as both my husband and I feel that our kids English is very important. If we knew that we would not be able to get it, it probably would have effected our plans. Maybe we would have choosen to move to Stockholm instead of where we are now where. Stockholm seems be the place to be if you got bilingual kids.

I'm quite disappoined in the Swedish school system so far, thought it would be great for the kids but I'm not so sure anymore. No modersmål + the fact their school won't offer English until year 4 (at 10 years old). In Stockholm all schools seem to offer English from year 1. I really hate the fact that we don't get the same opportunities for our kids, just because we've choosen not to live in a big city.

We have also talked about moving to Oz too in a couple of years time. We think it would be good for the kids to get some of their education in Australia too, so they can feel they are half Aussies too.

Good luck with your move back to Australia. How does your wife like it by the way? I guess she's also Swedish, like me.
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*Las Vegan*
post 18.Apr.2006, 08:33 PM
Post #35


When my wife was pregnant with my Son we decided to split the languages, she speaks Swedish to my children, I speak English. We decided on this because once you learn one language a second is much easier to learn. My Boy and Girl have been Bilingual sinse they could speak. Funny part is when we are in a store here in Vegas, people see my kids snapping from Swedish to English on a drop of a hat. And it blows their minds!
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Roowhip
post 18.Apr.2006, 10:13 PM
Post #36
Joined: 16.Sep.2005

The Perp
QUOTE
Sorry Roowhip, but you?re missing the point ? and you?re in denial. There?s nothing wrong with referring to specific Swedish nouns and terms such as ?Systembolaget?, ?Strycktipset?, or ?Melodifestival? as these are actual names (although I know a few die-hards who say ?off-licence?, ?the pools? or ?Eurovision heats?). English has even taken in Swedish words like smorgasbord and ombudsman but ?dagis?? Don?t think so.


I'm not sure what I'm in denial about but I will try and address my problem. :roll: It seems that you are saying that it is wrong or rot to use words like dagis within an english meaning when speaking to our children and I disagree firstly because I don't think there are any hard and fast rules as to what you should or shouldn't do and secondly I spoke with a language expert in Aus and they explained that it was perfectly OK to use nouns within a meaning..dagis I believe is a noun???

Andersson
QUOTE
also once you have yourself become fluent in Swedish, you will find you sometimes can't remember the nouns
.

The Perp
QUOTE
Ever heard of the term ?first-language attrition? (which is when your native language gets worse while your second/third language improves)? It happens to us all and it?s a natural part of learning a language,


Well thanks for that Perp, you just managed to repeat what I said previously but in a superfluous manner.

The Perp
QUOTE
but the way to stop the rot is to see how many Swedish words you use when good English ones will do.

Still Baloney...if you have a personal problem with hearing english speakers throw in a swedish word or 2 as you obviously do, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it but with respect to teaching a child to be billingual, it really is a non-issue and the main thing is consistency with your approach.


Muckle, here is a bit of info I found on a website which indicates that there is no right or wrong method; ie each parent talking their native langague (such as we do) or both parents speaking just english in the home (such as Beth)-the main thing is you consistently use that approach.

Many parents find that having a fixed pattern for language use in the home makes things easier, both for the children learning the languages and for the adults in their day-to-day life with two (or more) languages. Here are a few of the more common patterns.

One Parent, One Language (OPOL): The parents speak different native languages and each speak their own native language to the child(ren).
Minority Language at Home (mL@H, MLaH, ML@H, etc.): Also known as the Foreign Home pattern. Everyone speaks the minority (non-community) language at home, and the community language outside. The minority language may be but does not have to be the native language of both parents.
Less Common Patterns: Any pattern that works for your family is a good pattern, of course. This is just a brief selection of all the possible patterns: the first person to speak chooses the language; one language is spoken every day, the other on extended vacations to another country; one language is spoken every day, the other on special occasions; the children attend school immersion programs.

"Rules"
Adapted from the Harding and Riley book listed on the Resources page. None of these are unbreakable, but they are good guidelines for making bilingualism work for most families.
Consistency: Whatever pattern you choose, stick to it. Although children can learn two languages in what seems like chaos, a reasonable amount of consistency will make their job, and yours, simpler. Once children learn the pattern they are often disturbed when a parent breaks it.
Rich Environment: This doesn't mean the children need expensive toys or special tools, but they need songs, bedtime stories, and other linguistic stimulation just as monolingual children do - except that bilingual children need it in both their languages. This will mean an extra demand on your time, both to give them this stimulation and to find the books, recorded music and other objects you want - but it is by no means impossible.
Children's Needs First: Children should not be forced into bilingualism if it really does make them unhappy; above all they should not be asked to "show off", which embarrasses children and makes them all too aware of being "different".
Playing It Down: The more you can make bilingualism seem like a natural and unremarkable part of family life, the more likely it is that the children will grow up to enjoy being bilingual, and the more likely it is that you will succeed in keeping both languages active in your home.
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Roowhip
post 18.Apr.2006, 10:18 PM
Post #37
Joined: 16.Sep.2005

QUOTE
Be carefull to constantly correct your childrens mistakes, as I did with mine. To speak English incorrectly is the mark of an un-educated person and can often be why some people are employed and some aren't.
My advice is too teach both and to do it properly!!!!!!


mmm..that advive would be TO teach not too teach properly?

(ps Kim1, I agree with your post and I don't usually correct the spelling on here but I just couldn't resist the above within it's context biggrin.gif )
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*Billy*
post 18.Apr.2006, 10:24 PM
Post #38


To " Married to a Aussie":
QUOTE
We fully counted on that the kids would get it when we moved here to Sweden as both my husband and I feel that our kids English is very important. If we knew that we would not be able to get it, it probably would have effected our plans.


Sorry for you M8, What a shame that it wasn't what you wanted...But, look on the bright side though. I can only imagine you live in "Country" Sweden. (No insult implied) smile.gif I'm originally from the country back home. Some people say that the REAL people of a country, come from the country. Your kids have probablary experienced the REAL Sweden. By this i mean Honesty, Integrity, Values... Who's the lucky one now?...Isn't this what we all want for our children?. I'm not saying you don't get this in the cities, i just think they are more real in the country. :wink

QUOTE
How does your wife like it by the way? I guess she's also Swedish, like me.


She can tell you herself...

I've lived in Australia for awhile so I know what I'm getting myself into laugh.gif I really like the people and the lifestyle, I've always thought of Aus like my second home. I'm just hoping we can keep the Swedish up once we get there. I don't think there will be such a large population of Swedes where we are moving to. (Maryborough QLD) lolololol

QUOTE
Funny part is when we are in a store here in Vegas, people see my kids snapping from Swedish to English on a drop of a hat. And it blows their minds!


Doesn't it make you Feel good? It would me.

Till next time,

Billy
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*The Perp*
post 19.Apr.2006, 10:45 PM
Post #39


Roowhip: I?m not saying it?s weird that we use Swedish names/terms when we speak but words such as ?dagis?, ?pappaledig? blah, blah, blah?are pushing it. Why use them when we have English words that describe the same thing? :roll: Sure, words like ?dagis? slip out, but to make a conscious choice of actually using these Swedish words is just mad. Which brings me to rules?

QUOTE
?don't think there are any hard and fast rules as to what you should or shouldn't do and secondly I spoke with a language expert in Aus and they explained that it was perfectly OK to use nouns within a meaning?


As you don?t believe in any rules, feel free to fire on with your Swenglish. And just because a language expert in Aus says it?s OK, it doesn?t make it right. As for my superfluity, don?t mention it ? always nice to enlighten those in denial. :wink:

QUOTE
Still Baloney...if you have a personal problem with hearing english speakers throw in a swedish word or 2 as you obviously do, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it but with respect to teaching a child to be billingual, it really is a non-issue and the main thing is consistency with your approach.


Don?t you get it, yet? It depends on the Swedish word you throw in. And thanks for telling me I can express my opinion. Much obliged. Here?s a crazy idea: tomorrow, try learning your child one of the several English words for ?dagis?. I just know you can do it. Go on, be strong?and make the language leap. ohmy.gif
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Beth
post 19.Apr.2006, 11:14 PM
Post #40
Joined: 15.Sep.2004

QUOTE (The Perp)
Here?s a crazy idea: tomorrow, try learning your child one of the several English words for ?dagis?. I just know you can do it. Go on, be strong?and make the language leap. ohmy.gif


Hello Kettle (sorry jason)...ehm...you were talking about language attrition? and your way prevents it?

who can find the Swenglish error laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

btw...while there are similar words for dagis e.g. daycare/nursury (playgroup is not applicable) they still don't convey the greater picture of what swedish "dagis" really is.

what is your translation for "mellannamn"?
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*Littlefair*
post 19.Apr.2006, 11:28 PM
Post #41


QUOTE (The Perp)
Here?s a crazy idea: tomorrow, try learning your child one of the several English words for ?dagis?. I just know you can do it. Go on, be strong?and make the language leap. ohmy.gif


I try to learn my children things all the time and do you know what they say????????????

They say

IT'S TEACH DUMBASS

or try teaching for example.
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Roowhip
post 20.Apr.2006, 04:45 PM
Post #42
Joined: 16.Sep.2005

QUOTE
The Perp wrote:
Here?s a crazy idea: tomorrow, try learning your child one of the several English words for ?dagis?. I just know you can do it. Go on, be strong?and make the language leap.

I try to learn my children things all the time and do you know what they say????????????

They say

IT'S TEACH DUMBASS

or try teaching for example.


laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif Perp, you surpassed Kim1 for making me laugh in the context of this language thread.
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Rachel F
post 20.Apr.2006, 04:59 PM
Post #43
Joined: 12.Oct.2005

Roowhip wrote

(ps Kim1, I agree with your post and I don't usually correct the spelling on here but I just couldn't resist the above within it's context )

Just to be pedantic - should read 'couldn't resist the above within its context'
grammar not spelling!!
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Beth
post 20.Apr.2006, 05:14 PM
Post #44
Joined: 15.Sep.2004

oh please...no one be pedantic with the spelling or grammar with my posts :evil:
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Roowhip
post 20.Apr.2006, 05:18 PM
Post #45
Joined: 16.Sep.2005

QUOTE
Roowhip wrote

(ps Kim1, I agree with your post and I don't usually correct the spelling on here but I just couldn't resist the above within it's context )

Just to be pedantic - should read 'couldn't resist the above within its context'
grammar not spelling!!


Hehe..you got me there Ms KatieA but in me defence I don't profess to be any good at grammar or LEARN my children properly laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
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