To coordinate her lips, tongue and breath well enough to make herself understandable is the biggest challenge and milestone in babyâ€™s language development. And I feel the same way.
Since month 21, DD began to speak meaningful words in English and in Chinese. It seemed she spoke more English words than Chinese words, although she could understand almost anything I said and followed my Chinese instructions without any problem.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. I talked to her in Chinese since her birth. I tried to create a Chinese-rich environment for her. Since I am the only person who speaks Chinese in her world, I tried to speak only Chinese to her.
When she was nine month, I began to read simple books to her in Chinese. Since month 13, I started to read story books to her in Chinese. We also listened to Chinese children songs, rhymes and stories via CDs, and watched Chinese animated movies via DVDs.
I did everything I could to help her acquire Chinese (seeÂ How I help my baby acquire a second language?). Why she speaks English more than Chinese?
One reason I can think of is her language environment. Although I speak to her in Chinese all day and all night, her community-based language is still English. The majority language speakers talk to her in English.
The second reason, in my opinion, is the lack of Chinese resources. Although my parents and brother in China sent DD a bundle of Chinese books, CDs and DVDs, the resources in Chinese is still limited.
On the other hand, English resources are literally unlimited. I can borrow as many English Childrenâ€™s books, CDs and DVDs as I want from the local library. And the Nick Junior programs run 24/7 on TV.Â Â Â
Next, maybe to DD, it is easier to speak English than Chinese. Therefore she naturally chooses the easier way out when she is eager to express herself.
The forth reason, maybe also the most important reason, is that I didnâ€™t strictly follow â€œone parents one languageâ€ rule. I read to DD in English as well, only because sometimes she got tired of our limited stock of Chinese books and wanted something different. This is the only time I donâ€™t speak Chinese to her.
Are these reasons causing her to speak more English than Chinese? Are they making big impact on her to achieve perfect bilingualism? So far I donâ€™t find any answers yet. So I am calling for you, dear readers and parents, to join in the discussion.
How I help my baby acquire a second language?
How babies acquire languages?
Stages of babyâ€™s language acquisition
How children acquire second languages?
Stages of childrenâ€™s second language acquisition
Never too early to learn second tongue
Being bilingual boosts brain power
Bilingualism and cognitive development
More resources on bilingualism and its effects
Why my baby isnâ€™t talking yet?