on raising bilingual children

Helping you navigate your unique family language journey.


We at Raising Bilingual Children are passionate about languages and multilingualism, drawing our expertise from scientific research and day-to-day practice alike. Eowyn Crisfield, founder and lead adviser, is a fully qualified language teacher (BEd Teaching English as a second language) and Applied Linguist (MA Applied Linguistics) with specialisations in child bilingualism and education. She is also the (co) author of two books and a Senior Lecturer in TESOL (Oxford Brookes University).

As Family Language Advisers, we are deeply committed to helping you navigate the ebbs and flows of multilingual childrearing in your unique family situation.

What is a Family Language Adviser?

A Family Language Adviser is a person who guides and supports parents, caregivers and others involved in a family’s linguistic environment in creating a setting that will foster a child’s successful multilingual development. This consultation process is called Family Language Planning.

What can a Family Language Adviser help with?

Some of the questions that could be addressed and resolved include:

  • Why does my child refuse to speak my home language?
  • Will my child eventually stop using my home language?
  • How many languages is too many? Won’t my child get confused?
  • We are trying to choose a school – which language of instruction would be best for my child?
  • We are moving – how do we navigate the new language(s)? Should we leave some behind?
  • We are both monolingual and would like our child to be bilingual – is that possible?
  • Do I have to pick one language to speak to my child and stick with it 100% of the time?
  • Do I necessarily have to speak my first language to my child? What other possibilities do I have?
  • etc.

Photo by Luana Azevedo on unsplash.com

What happens in a Family Language Planning consultation session?

Setting priorities and strategically planning for them is fundamental for successful language learning and development. Through detailed questions and discussions, the Family Language Adviser assesses the family’s linguistic environment and the parents’ goals for their children’s linguistic development. Aims are examined and analysed in light of current input, and realistic future input, in each language.

What is a Family Language Plan?

A Family Language Plan is a guiding document that the adviser develops, together with the caregivers, to set the family’s goals and plan for their children’s multilingual development. Apart from setting goals, creating a Family Language Plan involves, but is not limited to, mapping out where the input in each language will come from, ways that literacy will be approached, school choice, etc.

As specialised Family Language Advisers, we are here to discuss your concerns and craft tailored solutions regardless of your family’s language combination.


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