My Bilingual Child/Experiment Number 1: Age 4 1/2

Something wonderful has been happening lately. Littlest has been starting and maintaining conversations with me in English! He still speaks very often to me in French, but I’d go as far as to say it’s about half English these days. He even likes to speak English with his grandparents, cousins, and friends on Facetime.

He got very mad at me recently when I interpreted something he was saying wrong during one of these calls so I’ve decided to try hard to not interpret anything anymore. It’ll be a hard reflex to fight since I’ve been interpreting toddler talk for a couple of years now, and also I have a tendency/have had to interpret between family members for so long.

He’s definitely figured out who speaks English and who speaks French so I also won’t be telling him to speak English with certain people anymore.

It’s remarkable but it’s also clearly sensitive. I don’t want to discourage or embarrass him. Speech is so personal and so validating. He’s had to find his voice in two languages and he was a late talker in the first place.

As for Even Littler, he mostly just says “Wah.” He has 7 teeth and is crawling, pulling up, and climbing over things so I think he’s set to follow in Littlest’s footsteps of being more into gross motor skills than language.

One thought on “My Bilingual Child/Experiment Number 1: Age 4 1/2

  1. Aww! Go Littlest! Their brains are so remarkable. A speaks way more French than English for obvious reasons that you’re well aware of, but then all of a sudden he’ll say something in English that I had no idea he knew how to say. It just warms my heart.

    Like yours, both kids were far more into gross motor skills than anything else. The pediatrician (ugh, still annoyed we have to see a pediatrician instead of our GP, thanks covid) keeps trying to make me feel bad that T doesn’t have any real words. Yes, A had a few at this age, and while T is very good at making himself understood and has his own little “words” at each visit, she is like “Oh, il a pas encore des vrais mots ?” with a disapproving look. Waiting for her to comment on the bilingual bit.

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