• My suggestion is that German be spoken in the home and they go to school in English. If not, send them to school in German (if y'all can) and speak english at home. Or hire a German nanny that will do it for you. Languages are sounds, if a child is exposed to the sounds all of his life they will distinguish, my father spoke 5 languages with no accent from the time he was a kid. Good Luck
  • The best way is for your wife to only speak German to the Children and for you to only speak English. That way they are exposed to both languages as the language part of the their brain develops and they will learn both languages. Another poster here suggested only teaching them one language in the house and leaving it up to the schools to teach them the other. That would not be a good idea because it would mean that the kids would start at a disadvantage in the school not knowing the primary language of the country in which you live. However, if you both use your native languages to speak to the children they will learn both. You can use english to converse between you and your wife though. *************** From my brother's answer: "So it appears that what my brother wrote is correct. I wondered about that, since as far as I know, he doesn't have any experience on which to know about such things. But our sister does, and what she says matches pretty well with what my brother said." My information came from a guy I knew years ago. I have mentioned him in other answers. He is fluent in many different languages and used to talk to his children in these different languages. I think that I remember talking to our sister about this, too. At first the children don't consciously realize that there are different languages involved. They just know that mommy and daddy talk to them in different ways and use the appropriate language with each. As they become more mature mentally, they begin to actually distinguish between the languages.
  • Since this answer is going to be my own personal experience, there might be parts that have been answered by others. But first I will talk about my friends language experience in six grade for a quick answer. Her parents were Iranians living in the US. They only spoke Farsi at hone. She came to Iran around the age of 12. She could read and write and speak Farsi as if the had grown up in Iran. Naturally her english was the same as growing up in the US. Now my personal experience as the source of the answer. The languages are Farsi (a language that has more common features with arabic than languages with latin origin which the question is about) and english. Back in the 60,s I had learned all the english a three year old learns living in Chicago with parents who one only spoke english. The net result is english is the only language spoken at home and outside. At three I landed in Iran where everyone spoke Farsi except my mother. I remember asking someone for a hot-dog with no results until we found a common ground called a sausage and Farsi happened to have the same word for sausage with a slight variation in pronunciation. I got a hot-dog which they call a sausage sandwich (sandwich is also the same work in Farsi). That was my first experience of another language at the airport. My only source of english was my mother who died before first grade. The town in Iran where I lived was to small to have enough americans to form a school. I had not learned any more Farsi beyond the airport since I had stayed home with mom. I went to a local school in first grade where no one spoke english. By third grade I had learned Farsi by default. Winning second place in Calligraphy contest with six graders. I was entered as a third grader based on drawing art when ever I had paper. Ironically there is no correlation between calligraphy and knowledge of the language. My regular penmanship was awful unless there was a test which I would get the best grade. I would kick into Calligraphy mode of thinking for testing and drew the writing. I still do the same today. During third grade Arabic was also thought, but not as a language, the requirement was to memorize a Muslin prayer, not to learn Arabic. Having a common alphabet, we all could read it without understanding what it was beyond it purpose for praying. By the end of third grade Farsi was my new native tongue. How do I know? I had rapidly forgot english after four years and the local population thought I was an american ( blond hair and blue eyes was uncommon) until the firsts words I would speak to them. There were no americans or foreigners that spoke fluently without a accent, so I must be one of the rare Iranian blonds. I began fourth grade in Tehran international school that teaches english all day and one hour of Farsi in the afternoon. I flunked forth grade, I could not write any any english and barely speak english. By the end of the year I spoke english with an accent. I now spoke two languages. I was not out of the woods yet. After six grade, I went to the US for the summer. The first two days I would speak Farsi when Americans and a perplexed reaction would prompt me to switch to English. The same quirk occurred when I returned to Iran. By fifteen I new both languages. I still dream in both. At times, I have a accent in one of the languages. Note: My grammar is not good in both languages.
  • I think the immersion method is still best way. Use the languages at home, in church and in the market places.

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