My foster daughter and her husband are bringing their son up to speak English with his mother and Danish with his father, with no problems so far. The little one is two and will be three in June. (They are living in Denmark).
Now the health visitor has torn a strip off my DD for not speaking Danish with the boy, maintaining, quite wrongly that he is behindhand in learning to speak and that they should only speak one language in the home.
The boy clams up when the health visitor comes in, as he doesn't like her, and probably is picking up on the fact that his mother and the health visitor are at odds. He is also the kind of child who talks when he feels he has something to say, and not otherwise. His maternal uncle was just the same at the same age. And there was certainly no arrested development there.
My teaching experience is that that it is perfectly possible to bring small children up to speak two, or even more languages properly, as long as they are accustomed to start with to always speaking one language to the same person, as is the case here.
I would be grateful for others' views, both for and against in this matter.
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