My little boy is 18 months old.
He’s saying “shoes” in one language, “car” in another and “thank
you” in a third one. I love that. He’s just started his life and
already he has so many possibilities and chances ahead of him.
My husband and I are from different countries, living in a third
one. When we decided to have a child, we also decided that each of us
would speak our mother tongue to him and that he would learn the
country’s language at the kindergarten. And it works really fine.
My job is to teach kids who don’t speak the country’s language but
who are currently learning it. I teach them their mother tongue, my
mother tongue. Until they know enough of the country’s language to
manage at school. Usually it takes 5 years or more, according to how
old they are. I am an educated mother tongue teacher who thinks the
world would be better if everybody spoke at least two languages. And my
most important message is this: always speak your mother tongue to your
child! When they answer you in another, keep speaking it anyway, never
give up! And you’ll give your children a wonderful gift.