Crisfield Educational Consulting: Supporting Bilingual Families

Choosing to raise children bilingually is both a gift and a responsibility. Parents embarking on the journey and parents already on their way need support and information to ensure they make the best choices for their children. Eowyn offers the following services for families:

Regular seminars on Raising Bilingual Children
Early Years, Focus on School and Literacy, Encountering Difficulties, Raising Children with Three or More Languages

Family Language Planning
A Family Language Plan is a document that tracks the language priorities and paths to bilingualism for mobile families. By anticipating the language needs of the children, and best practice to reach the goals of the parents, a language plan helps parents keep on track for successful bilingualism. Working with families to meet their specific criteria, Eowyn helps families understand the principles of family language planning, and helps them create a Family Language Plan that fits with their needs and goals.

Best resources for parents:

These are the books that I regularly recommend to parents who are raising children with two or more languages.

1. A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism (Colin Baker)
This is an excellent basic resource. The format is question and answer, so you can easily find the brief section that discusses the issue you are interested in learning about.

2. An Introduction to Bilingual Development (Annick de Houwer)
This book is an introductory textbook, and gives a very good, concise overview of how bilingual children develop language. This is primarily focused on children that have two languages from birth or very young.

3. Growing up with two languages (Una Cunningham)
This book is part research and part anecdotal. It gives a good overview of theory, integrated with the stories of different families and how they raised their children, more or less successfully, in two languages.