When I was in graduate school, I met a man who was Puerto Rican and spoke Spanish.
His wife was Korean and spoke Korean. When they had a daughter, they made the conscious decision to only speak English to her so that she wouldn’t be confused by the languages.
I still look at that situation and mourn the tremendous opportunity to learn three languages that this child missed.
Imagine the job opportunities for a trilingual speaker who speaks Spanish, Korean and English!
My husband is Japanese, and while I speak a bit of Japanese, I am by no means conversational. (Just ask my husband’s mother; I still panic when she calls because I only know a few conversational phrases.)
We determined when we married that we wanted to raise our children to be bilingual; however, that is difficult when mom doesn’t speak the language and dad is at work 10 hours of the day.
We decided to pay tuition to send our children to a private Montessori Japanese language school. We resolved to invest money in our children’s education upfront, fully aware that the money we spend now is money we won’t have available when they go to college.