I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this comment since moving to the Netherlands, usually right after I ask why someone’s kids are in an English school…
To be polite, Dutch is a language with limited usefulness, unless you live in the Netherlands, as we do. However, even for those staying on a temporary basis, the choice against bilingualism because of the limited usefulness of Dutch is very short-sighted. As a language teacher and specialist in bilingualism, I know of the many benefits children can accrue from being exposed to more than one language. So after a couple of years of getting up on my soapbox and expounding on the benefits of bilingualism – even for a short time, and even if the second language is Dutch – I decided to take my message to a wider population and started giving seminars on raising bilingual children. Since then I have worked with hundreds of families and many schools, doing seminars, family language planning and workshops, and teacher-training.
I am now taking my soapbox to a more modern platform and hope to share with you the latest insight and thoughts on the world of raising bilingual children – from my perspective as an educator, but also from my experience of raising three multi-lingual children myself.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions or suggest future topics.