So as the rest of the country sits wide awake, glued to the Netherlands-Argentina game, I too am considering the position of Dutch in the world, but the language, not the football team. Don't feel sorry for me; I'd really rather think about language than watch the World Cup semi-finals... (small confession: the game is … Continue reading Let’s talk about Dutch Mother Tongue support (Hup! Hup! Holland!)
In the city where I live, 10% of the population are classified as "expats". That means that they are usually on contracts of 2-5 years, although many stay longer (we have been here 10 years now...). One of the on-going issues for parents who move abroad with their children is how to approach living in … Continue reading Mobile families: How important is the local language?
Today, December 5, is the eve of St.Nicholas Day. In the Netherlands, this means it is "pakjesavond" - the night Sinterklaas leaves present in children's shoes. Being of Canadian extraction, this tradition is not part of my holiday rota. However, my children have spent their whole lives here, and so it's been necessary to integrate … Continue reading And now for something completely different…
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. – Ludwig Wittgenstein One of the main reasons I started doing seminars for parents was the lack of information among many monolinguals in our community about the benefits of bilingualism. In the expat world, we meet many, many bilingual families, but there are also … Continue reading #IMLD: Top 5 Reasons to Choose Bilingualism for Your Children (otherwise known as Talking to Monolinguals)
NB. This post is a reprint of an article I wrote for a local paper (The Underground) in October, 2011 For families who arrive in the Netherlands with monolingual children, the choice for bilingualism should be an easy one. The benefits, short and long-term, of bilingualism, have been established and documented over the last few … Continue reading Don’t forget to pack your Mother Tongue
I'm going hors-piste this week (notice the code-switching...) to address something that came up in a seminar I gave this weekend. After I finished my mini-talk, a participant came up to me to tell me that she hadn't considered that raising her child with four languages could be difficult. A statistic that I often cite … Continue reading “I didn’t think it would be so hard!”