Reflections on the Summer School in Bilingualism

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since my return to student life. I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I learned, and what I have still to learn, about bilingualism. It was an amazing experience to be with so many people who are interested in the same topics, and who didn’t get tired of talking about bilingualism. There were students there from all over the world, and I got to hear stories of bilingualism from so many places and situations: South Africa, Sweden, Italy, Argentina, Australia, the Basque Country, the US, and of course Wales. Although the details of each of these situations may be different, the bottom line was always the same – parents, teachers and researchers striving to make bilingualism acceptable and attainable for everyone.
In some places, the struggle is to have languages recognized as equal, in other places the struggle is to provide excellence in schooling for pupils from different language groups, and in some places the struggle is to revive a language in danger of being lost forever. The common theme among all these is the link between our language, our culture and our worldview. Language is so much more than just the words we use, more than the sounds and sentences. It is an integral part of who we all are, and those of us raising bilingual children must ensure that we give our children the skills to be themselves, in all their languages.
On that note, I am off for vacation, to practice my Scottish. I’ll be back in September, please feel free to post or email me any questions if you have subjects you’d like me to blog about in the coming months.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on the Summer School in Bilingualism

  1. Solo Infinity says:

    Bravo, this speech is very good with my expectations and my experience being myself French mother of four children and living in the U.S.A. It’s wonderful to be given every opportunity to her children to learn different languages ​​but also know other cultures. I am for very young children learn new sounds, new look and appreciate letter, to live together on a same planet.
    Sonia Colasse, author of children’s bilingual book http://www.soloinfinity.com

  2. mumzone says:

    There are so many great articles and literature (based on good research) available on the topic of bilingualism and its benefits, even for children who may be experiencing language delays, that it seems redundant to write on the issue, but I feel compelled to do so because the passing down of a parent’s native language appears to be diminishing more and more.

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