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Teaching my child my language in a foreign country

New Member Registered


I'm sorry if the question has already been posted. I tried looking for it but couldn't find anything similar. 

I am divorced and have a daughter of 1y and 6mo old. Im Serbian and my ex is Romanian. After the divorce i moved back to my country and have been visiting my daughter one week per month ever since. We have a court order and i travel every month abroad to spend time with her. Is there an expert or someone who has experience with this that can give me some tips on how to teach my daughter my language during the time we spend together? I'm afraid she won't know my language well enough. Her mom is not exactly promoting our relationship, to say the least, so i know i can't expect any help from her. If anything she'll do the exact opposite of helping. So are there any faster / more efficient ways to teach a language to a kid that's not exposed to it other than when talking to me? I am yet to start taking her to my country and I know that will help a lot but that's still not an option. 

Thanks in advance to anyone who gives me any kind of tip. 

Topic starter Posted : 08/05/2023 7:25 pm
Tommy92 reacted
Illustrious Member


I would recommend you try an app on your phone for teaching child. My favourite is Duolingo, but unfortunately they don't have Serbian language.

here are other apps you can try:

or you could simply use google translate:

Posted : 08/05/2023 8:16 pm
Active Member



I'm no expert but I had a situation in the past where I was apart from my daughter for several months and she gradually came to speak only her mother's language. Personally, its really important to me that I can speak with my daughter in my mother tongue and I know the anxiety it can cause when it seems like that might not be possible.

It can be really difficult but here are a few things I did to try and maximize her exposure to my language during our time apart:


Daily video calls (or as much as possible)

Reading books during video calls

I recorded myself reading books and got her mum to play her the recordings (this helped when video calls weren't possible). 

Arrange for TV time to feature both languages.


The above would apply to when you are not together, but I appreciate that it might be difficult to arrange if the relationship isn't very amicable.


When you are together, all you can really do is talk and talk and talk! Reading is great here too. Kids' minds are like sponges so exposure is all it takes really and the more the better.


In my situation, my daughter's two languages eventually balanced out and she speaks to me in mine and mum in mum's. 


Best of luck.

Posted : 09/05/2023 4:07 am
Active Member Registered

Hi there,

I can imagine how important it is to you to teach your daughter your language and maintain a strong relationship with her despite the challenges of distance and a language barrier.

One idea you might consider is using technology to your advantage. There are plenty of language-learning apps and online resources that are designed specifically for kids, and many of them are free or low-cost. You could spend some time exploring these resources and finding ones that are appropriate for your daughter's age and language level.

Another idea is to create a routine or schedule for language learning during the time you spend with your daughter. For example, you might dedicate a certain amount of time each day to practicing vocabulary, reading books, or playing games in your language. The more consistent and structured you can make the language-learning process, the more likely your daughter is to pick up the language quickly.

Posted : 10/05/2023 3:36 pm
Active Member Registered

Communicative language teaching is generally recognised as the best method for teaching a language to a young kid.

Worth looking into StefanMil.



Posted : 27/09/2023 11:50 am
Eminent Member Registered

That sounds really tough, especially with the challenges from her mom. When you're together, try using Serbian as much as possible, simple words, songs, and books are great tools. Consistency during your visits is key, and using video calls between visits can help reinforce what she's learning. As she grows, hopefully, you'll have more opportunities to visit Serbia together, which will really immerse her in the language. Hang in there, and keep focusing on those moments you have together to make the most of teaching her Serbian.

Posted : 22/06/2024 6:08 am

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