My question is, do you need to set aside time for language lessons either by parents or professional for the minority language? My 3-year-old daughter speaks Spanish (we live in Spain) and English (minority language) and she is well on her way to being bilingual, her English level is above most 3 year olds that only speak English – so we are off to a good start.
My question is more about how will she advance to be on the same level as English-only speakers going forward by only doing what we have done so far (complete English in home, English books, English TV etc). For example, she can count to 20 because of all the books we do, but how will she count to 100 without lessons. Or how will she learn advanced vocab and grammar without lessons? or do these kind of things come with time?
Thank you for question on whether you need to arrange some formal language tuition in the minority language for your daughter.
You are using the minority language at home approach (mL@H), and with great success as per your description – I agree, you are off to a fantastic start. By immersing her in English in the home she will naturally pick up the language just as a monolingual child would do. You read books and watch English programmes with her so she this will add to her vocabulary.
If you want her English to stay at the same level as of children living in an English-speaking country and attending an English school, with the extended vocabulary that entails, then you would need to arrange similar exposure for her. I don’t think you would necessarily have to arrange additional tuition for this, though. Instead, you can incorporate this into your family’s routines. Of course, it depends on how much time you can dedicate to this, but my feeling is that it might be more effective than having occasional formal lessons. As her parents you will know best which area to work on.
When your daughter’s English skills develop, you will naturally read books where the language gets more complex and she will be learning new words. Since you are in the fortunate position that it is English which is your minority language, you will also find a lot of resources online. You can use materials which are designed for schools or homeschoolers. For example the British Council offers free educational games and resources for schools which you can adapt according to your daughter’s interests.
When she is a bit older you could also consider enrolling her in summer camps for English-speaking children, if this can be arranged. Having a chance to use her language with other children is another important aspect of her language development.
Wishing you a successful bilingual family journey!