Much is made of the mythical sponge-like capacity of babies and children to learn multiple languages. Add this to the on-going quest to prove that bi/multilingualism is the cognitive brain boost that will have our children beating back Harvard and Cambridge, and you have a recipe for stress. I've met children who speak 2 languages … Continue reading Is earlier always better?
This post was inspired by a reader question, one that I think may be of interest to many minority language parents. A Greek couple have just moved to the UK with their young son (almost 3-years old). They are being encouraged by the nursery to use English at home with him, to help him "learn … Continue reading Using the “second language” at home: What’s the etiquette?
In a previous post (How important is the local language? )I discussed reasons for choosing to have your children learn the host country language. In that post, I focused mostly on general thoughts and monolingual families. In this post, I'd like to address the important, and difficult, question faced by multilingual families - Whether or … Continue reading Multilingual Mobile Families: Thoughts on integrating the host country language
Last week, I spent three days in Greece, at the invitation of a colleague from the Poliglotti4.eu project. I was so warmly welcomed (and not only by the temperatures, which were much better than here in NL!) by organisers and participants from both the Ministry of Education where I did a training seminar, and the … Continue reading A Holiday Tribute
Well, I promised a post from Parma, and here it is, almost a week later. It was such a whirlwind conference, book-ended on each side by long days of travel, that I've hardly had time to settle into the experience. Here are a few thoughts: 1. It's really, really hard to try and function in … Continue reading Post-Parma blues…
One of the most common and well-understood methods of raising bilingual children is OPOL - the "One-parent-one language" paradigm. Used mainly in families where the parents have different first languages, OPOL is generally a successful method for raising children who speak two languages. One of the main tenants of OPOL is the importance of consistency … Continue reading Once an OPOL, always an OPOL?
1. Friesans are Dutch, but not. And Frisian is like Dutch, but is not Dutch. In fact, it's closer to English than to Dutch. I feel that I should have learned this much earlier in my Dutch experience - professional shame on me! 2. Friesland has almost 50 trlingual primary schools - Frisian, Dutch and … Continue reading Seven things I learned in Friesland
A fitting event for my "Year of Talking About Bilingualism", today I came to Leeuwarden, in Friesland, not in hopes of seeing the famous Elfstedentocht (11-cities ice race), but to attend a conference on multilingualism in Europe. This first evening was an informal reception and I was in a group of people who wanted to … Continue reading Serious talking about bilingualism…