Our strategy is roughly based on One Person One Language (OPOL). However, I think I would ammed it be One Person One Language Most Of The Time. We have a situation where I speak the minority language (English) while my wife will speak the majority language (Portuguese). However, English has a positive status in Brazil and around the world so while it is intheory the minority lanaguage I am not anticipating the all ofthe problems that are often associated with such languages.
When I am with my son I will speak English.
When my wife is with him, she will speak Portuguese.
When the three of us are together we will speak mainly English, but with some Portuguese thrown in.
When we are with Brazilian friends and family we will speak mainly Portuguese, but I will also speak English when it doesn’t cause problems with other listeners. A lot of our friends and family speak English so there will be lots of opportunities for me to speak English in the presence of others.
When we are with English speaking friends and family, for example in the UK, we will speak mainly English but with some Portuguese thrown in.
Our main aim is for our son not to feel compelled to speak any particular language, but to give him the freedom to choose. I want him to be comfortable speaking, first and foremost, and I think that, given time, this will lead to him being comfortable to speak in the language that is appropriate for the given context.
However, this is still very early days and I am aware that I am probably being very naive. I am sure this strategy will need looking at and re-working in the coming years. If anybody else has any input or ideas regarding our plans, I would be grateful to hear them.