Big news in the World of Onraisingbilingualchildren!
After working on my own for almost 20 years, I am delighted to announce that I have expanded my team, and now have two fully trained Family Language Consultants working alongside me on the blog and for Family Language Planning! We are a great team, and are happy to have enough expertise and time now to support more families. Please meet my new team!
Moving to Munich, Germany from Bulgaria in 2000, at the age of 18, Maria completed her Master’s degree in English Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. She is a CELTA-qualified English language trainer and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Multilingual Learners. Maria is fluent in Bulgarian, English and German, and has a basic command of Dutch and Russian. After more than 10 years of gaining wide-ranging experience in an international corporate setting, following her heart and returning to her linguistic “roots” came naturally. She set out to pursue her passion for languages and foreign cultures in order to support families in navigating their multilingual journey.
Maria moved to Amsterdam with her Canadian husband and two children in 2018, where you can find her trying to blend in with the locals riding a bakfiets.
Daphne Vlachojannis is a New York-qualified international human rights lawyer. She has lived and worked as an expat since 2006, first in Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina, followed by the UK (London) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa). In 2013 she moved to The Hague, where she currently lives with her husband and three children. Daphne is passionate about languages, and is fluent in English, French, Greek and Italian, and has a working knowledge of Dutch and Spanish. Motivated by this passion, and by her own experience in raising multilingual children, Daphne is dedicated to helping families create an environment that fosters multilingual development. Daphne is also an avid writer on expat issues, including the role of language on cultural identity.
From here on my sofa (I always blog on my sofa…) in Oxfordshire, I welcome you from wherever you are reading. So far I have had readers from 166 countries and I am always happy to welcome more!
You may be here because you are already raising your children to be bilingual, you may be here because you are thinking about raising your children to be bilingual, or you may just have an interest in bilingualism. Whatever your reason, I hope you find here some answers to your questions, and some questions for your answers. I have an academic background in child bilingualism and bilingual education, and I am also raising three children, with three languages. My most popular seminar is “Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success” seminar, which i have delivered to thousands of families around the world. If you are interested in organising a seminar or having your organisation or school do so, please contact me for details.
My blog is an effort to combine my two worlds, incorporating both important theoretical aspects about bilingualism but also practical aspects, and even sometimes political aspects. With my company, Crisfield Educational Consulting, I do training for parents and teachers on bilingualism and bilingual education, and I also do research on integrating language learners in mainstream schools and classrooms.
So settle in on your sofa, preferably with a cup of tea, and read along. If you have a question that I haven’t already answered, or a clarification, please feel free to comment – I am happy to do blog posts inspired by reader questions, and I promise to answer yours too!
Hi, my name is Stefania Contu and I have participated to today’s seminar on bilingual children at the Gems World Academy. I would love to receive the presentation you did today 25th January 2016.
Thanks & Regards,
Hi Stephania, Happy to send it but I need an email address! Can you send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and then I will reply to that?
Thank for the opportunity to learn from you at RIS tonight (27/01/16)
Done! I have sent you an email Thank you
Hi Eowyn I have just listened to your seminar , thank you I found it very enlightening – I am an early childhood educator in Australia – is it true that children learning more than one language should always receive the same language from the same person otherwise it is confusing ? We are thinking of introducing a second language in the classroom – would the Spanish educator always have to speak only Spanish ? If parents speak a different language should they only speak the one language to their child ie each parent speaks a consistent language ?
Hi Monique. That is a complicated question… the short answer is that no, children do not get confused when a person speaks different languages with them. There is a lot written on the Internet that is incorrect about that particular issue. However, if you are introducing Spanish to a group of English speaking children, for language aquisition purposes, then the more English the teachers uses, the less Spanish they will hear. It’s often good to think about purpose in terms of language – if the purpose is emotional or behavioural support, then best in the language they know best. If the purpose is play and learning, then a additional language can be used. Hope this helps!