Our little one is 21 months and she peaks more than 100 words in three languages, on her own she uses both Spanish and Russian. I guess most common question will be: ” is she mixing languages?” The answer is “yes” and we are fine, letting her just speak and practice and then depending on a parent we continue with what we had to say. Her progress encourages everyday.
What do we do:
– trying to teach similar vocabulary in all languages, so she has the basic knowledge about herself and the world and hopefully that will help her express herself better
– provide experiences to enrich vocabulary using any published materials (cookbooks, magazines,catalogs, etc)
– due to limited time to Spanish, the materials used by additional caregiver (our case- nanny) is repeated by parent the same day to increase the effect
– using “orchestra toy” to promote sound recognition
– making it fun with games using familiar stories
– moving on to introducing mnemotechnics. It is used in second language learning among adults (Prof. Atikson from Stanford Uni used it with Spanish and Russian), but can be also used with children to aid learning poems and words.
Here are some video examples for children in Spanish, in Russian. As our daughter does not watch television we use images on paper. (I am using a book by Polyanskaya, 2009 (Т. Б. Полянская, “Использование метода мнемотехники в обучении рассказыванию детей дошкольного возраста”, СПб.: ООО «ИЗДАТЕЛЬСТВО «ДЕТСТВО- ПРЕСС», 2009. – 64 с.)