Hi! Great to try and keep this conversation going. Everything is going a bit crazy now and so I’m only just responding now… Memrise keeps reminding me that I haven’t even done any learning for a while…!!
I am very happy to answer some of these questions, others might take some thought / perhaps I’d answer more in PM. The language is Bengali (Indian).
My parents did not really speak the language “with” me - we spoke english together. But they did try to teach it to me, more like as a school subject. I learned the alphabet and to speak, read and write a very small number of phrases, but mostly with a lot of dictation or other help. A conversation was never within my reach.
There’s a song by Will Jay - I can only write my name … that sums it up!
They did speak it between themselves. I think it did help because at least I was exposed to the sound of it. I think they chose not to speak it with me and teach that way when I was learning to talk, because there was some concern that I would try to speak it with childminders instead of English…
After a while when I did try to speak a bit, they did have a habit of teasing about mistakes - and I’m not the only one who experienced this! This definitely inhibited learning, as I wasn’t keen on trying to speak if it would result in laughter and everyone just reverting to English… I am no psychologist so wouldn’t know whether to use the word “trauma” but it did make me sad and annoyed!
I’m long over that now, and continue to try to learn (on Memrise!). Sadly most of the people I would have spoken with, are now passed away. My generation wants to speak English…
I’d still say “I can only write my name” sums it up, as far as progress goes, though I’ve gotten a little further than just my name. I can understand simple conversation.
I do have a lot of thoughts on this really. I wonder if anyone else would chip in with their experiences? I’d love to know yours if you are willing to share!