sillygoose1 wrote:I'm not a parent, but my sister is homeschooled. What could I do to get her excited about learning a language? She always tells me that she isn't smart enough to do so. Our father and his family speak Italian so she wants to learn that + maybe French or Spanish but she doesn't want to start.
I noticed that she watches movies dubbed in Italian on Netflix with English subtitles so I think the interest is definitely there. Also she's in her teens so just someone talking in Italian probably won't be enough at this point.
If your father is up for it, I'd ask him to ONLY speak to your sister in Italian. Actually, even though she is in her teens, someone talking in Italian very well could be enough.
After that, I'd get her to watch more and more Italian movies/shows. There will be time for her to learn reading/writing. Plenty of speakers out there who have learned their parents' language and solely have proficiency in speaking and listening.
If she needs instruction in reading Italian, search out "Italian for heritage speakers." Unsure what's out there, but I've used textbooks for Russian heritage speakers (which I'm not) and those books generally start out basic (alphabet for example) and advance quickly. When she can read the language, buy her some Italian books. Maybe a book series that she loves in English, you can find in Italian for her.
Your remarks remind me of a lost opportunity I had. From the age of 5 to 10, I spent every morning and afternoon/early evening with my grandparents, native speakers of Italian. They never spoke Italian in front of me (except for swearing, which I can do well in italiano), which I realize now was that lost opportunity. (My parents, I don't think, told them to not speak to me, I think they just assumed I'd rather talk to them in English.)