First words and speech development in a bilingual child (Maja is 11,5 months old)

FIRST WORDS – DOES BILINGUALISM CAUSE SPEECH DELAY?

I have heard many times that bilingual children start speaking later than their monolingual peers. On the other hand, Doman claims that showing word cards to kids speeds up their speech development.

Well….we will see when Maja starts creating sentences. So far, she has acquired a lot of Polish and English words. I think the results are quite impressive taking into account that, after all, we live in Poland and no matter if I want it or not, my baby is surrounded by the Polish language more. 

When she was just one month old:

I will never forget one particular situation when, in the middle of the night, Maja who was lying next to me opened her eyes, looked at me with her intelligent eyes and said something which sounded like “ziółty” (something like “żółty” which means “yellow” in Polish). I was really amazed at this one-month-old baby. I guess it is not an easy word to pronounce. However, she said something like this only once.

When she was seven/ eight months old:

I guess we can assume this was her true first word as she continued repeating it over and over again: “tata” (“daddy” in Polish). She used to repeat it one after another producing something like “tatatatatata” in the end.

When she was nine/ ten months old:

She started using more words: mama (“mummy”), baba (“granny”) and (g)dzie (“(w)here” in Polish but pronounced without the first sound).

When she was eleven months old she started using English words as well and her vocabulary range expanded substantially:

– Polish words: 

(g)dzie jest (“where is”), babcia (“grandma”), dziadek (“grandpa”), cześć (“hello”), jeść (eat), cycy (“titty”), sieci (her own creation sounding like “świeci” which is the Polish equivalent for the last part of this sentence “The light is on.”) She has always been fascinated with lamps and when she says this word she points to the lamp)), bede (her version of “będę” meaning “I will be”). 

– English words:

apple, up, eye, touch and something which sounds like “dziś” (“today” in Polish) to me but according to my husband it’s “this” so let’s assume she means “this.”

Once she even said “no, mum” which was an ideal choice in that particular situation: Maja didn’t want to continue eating. 

As you can see the Polish language is dominant although at home Maja has more contact with English (me- her mum, books, cartoons and today my English-speaking friends have visited us). My mum unnecessarily fears that she won’t be able to speak Polish because I speak English only when I say something to her. She has no reason to worry, though. I have noticed that even a few moments she spends with her grandma or grandpa make her speak Polish. It’s because of them she often uses: “sieci” or “(g)dzie jest,” which I have mentioned before. What is more, it is her grandpa who has taught her to say “tata” (daddy). He just repeated it many times one Sunday and she kept repeating it for good few days: „tatatatatatatata”. I have tried the same with some English words or with her name but with no result. Quite recently my dad did the same with “dziadek” (grandpa) and she repeated once. 

While observing Maja I have noticed she has developed a particular liking for the Polish sounds, such as a combination of sounds: „ść.”

MY BABY AT 11 MONTHS – WHAT DOES SHE UNDERSTAND

Where’s/ Gdzie jest

At the age of less than 10 months Maja raised her hand and pointed to the lamp when somebody asked: „Where’s the lamp?” Once my brother-in-law asked: “Gdzie jest Bozia” (“Where is the God?”) and she did the same so we are not sure if she understands the whole question. We are sure she understands the first part. She knows she has to show us where something is when we ask “where’s.” 

Clap your hands/ Kosi kosi łapki

It doesn’t matter whether my mum says in Polish “Kosi, kosi łapki” or I in English “Clap, clap, clap” Maja starts clapping her hands.

Bye, bye/ Pa, pa

Maja waves her hand whenever she hears “bye bye” or “pa pa” meaning the same. It is sometimes a really funny gesture made with both hands.

No/Nie

She understands that something is forbidden. When I say “no,” she, for example, stops putting something into her mouth. Of course, she stops only for a while and, in the end, she does what she wants to do. I feel tested because she stares at me checking my reaction and when I say “no” again, she stops again.

A few days ago she bit my sister’s leg. Yeah…our girl is naughty. While my sister was laughing raucously with tears in her eyes, I started explaining calmly that it is a wrong thing to do and I kept asking what Maja did. Maja made a sad face and almost started crying. Fortunately, I managed to make her happy again.

Dog/ Piesek

It doesn’t matter if somebody asks about a dog in English or in Polish. Whatever the language is, Maja starts panting like a dog. She has observed it many times because my parents have a dog who often does this. 

Come on/ Chodź

When she hears this instruction, she crawls towards the person saying it and wants to get into her or his arms. 

Have you found my experience useful? If yes, share with others. What kind of a parent are you? How are you doing with Doman? I would be delighted if you leave a comment and share your experience. 

You are invited to follow Facebook fanpage and to subscribe for this blog.

I have created a Facebook group for parents doing Doman as I haven’t found any. This is just the beginning but I hope there will be more and more of us soon and that we will share our experience with one another.

Have you found my experience useful? If yes, share with others. What are your baby’s first words? I would be delighted if you leave a comment and share your experience. 

You are invited to follow Facebook fanpage and to subscribe for this blog.

I have created a Facebook group for parents doing Doman as I haven’t found any. This is just the beginning but I hope there will be more and more of us soon and that we will share our experience with one another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *