E. Z. (verrucaria) wrote in linguaphiles,
E. Z.
verrucaria
linguaphiles

Information and/or Advice on Bilingual Toddlers?

I'm a little worried about my niece who turned two a couple of months ago. She's being raised with English and Polish as her two "first" languages. My main concern is that the way I understand it, bilingual kids are not supposed to have trouble keeping the two languages separate. Currently, my niece still only says individual words at a time, but she can count a little bit and knows some letters of the alphabet. I'm concerned that when she counts or spells things out, she mixes numbers (or letters) from both languages. For instance, she'll say one number in English and the next one in Polish. And sometimes she'll say something that sounds kind of intermediate.

My sister, the niece's mother, is mostly concerned about the child's delay in producing speech in either language. The kid definitely understands pretty much everything that is said to her in Polish or in English, but she still only speaks in single words. I'm mostly concerned about the apparent mixing of languages.

Please, tell me that I'm over-reacting and, please, also give me some way to assuage my sister's fears. There isn't as much advice on raising multilingual kids out on the Internet as I would've expected.


P.S. My niece hears English all day at daycare (~3-4 days a week) as well as on television (including stuff like Sesame Street; hence, the counting and alphabet). Her parents speak to her in Polish. (And, yes, my sister's been teaching her to count and read/spell some words in Polish.)


EDIT: Thank you, everyone! I feel much better now.
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Recent Posts from This Community

  • I guess basic is too basic.

    You have to love how slang evolves. In my day, insulting someone was dissing someone from the word disrespect. Now it is throwing shade, especially…

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