I've always said that I wanted to the boys to go to a Bosnian speaking nursery as this is an amazing opportunity for them to learn a second language at a very young age. This won't be too much of a problem for Luke who at 19 months is a long way off conversational ability. Adam, however, is fairly chatty and able to communicate pretty well both with adults and other children. He is also very shy with people who he doesn't know and in unfamiliar situations.
Now that actually dropping the boys off into an all Bosnian speaking nursery looms ever nearer I am starting to fret. I'm pretty sure that Luke, after an initial protest, will be fine and will flourish. I am worried that, unable to communicate with the teachers and his peers, Adam will hate nursery and retreat further into his shell in unfamiliar situations.
Tuzla is not the sort of city that has English speaking nurseries - the international community are much reduced as the area recovers from the conflict which finished over a decade ago, and most internationals who were here don't have children of nursery age anyhow. So, if I want the boys to go to nursery it has to be Bosnian. I have spoken to nurseries in the UK which have experience of teaching children who don't speak English, and they said that after a few months the children have learnt to communicate. But as I sit here sipping my wine and typing away, a few months seems like quite a long time.
In an attempt to start to familiarise them with the language, we strolled into town the other day and bought Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends DVD in Bosnian. With CBeebies unavailable in Bosnia, the boys have enthusiastically embraced Tomica & Prijatelji demanding it over and over again. They don't appear to have realised that it is not in English, or at least it hasn't diminished their enjoyment of it one bit. A small part of me is hoping that I am worrying about nothing.