A: This is a tricky question to answer, because parents ask it for different reasons. Some parents ask this question because they have multiple languages in their family/community and are trying to formulate an effective language plan. Other parents ask this because they believe the "children are sponges" myth and want to try and … Continue reading Q: How do we chose which languages to focus on with our child?
Two interesting things happened the other day that led me to reflect on family language planning. The first was seeing a session description on a conference website claiming that the job of "family language advisor" is a new field of work that has developed due to the rise in multilingual families. The second was running … Continue reading Reflecting on Family Language Planning
A brief announcement that on Thursday, October 27, I will be returning to the Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam, for an open seminar "Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success". This is my most popular seminar, and mainly given at schools, so an open event is rare! In the two-hour session we will look … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Parent seminar (Amsterdam)
Obviously this applies to Cantonese-speaking parents... 🙂 but the underlying principle is the same, no matter what your home language is. I've been thinking about this issue since I visited Hong Kong in March, and met with many lovely parents who were all attempting to raise their children to be bilingual. So what's wrong with … Continue reading Please, speak Cantonese to your children!
Every family raising bilingual children needs to have, at the very least, one family language plan. Ideally, they should start the planning process at the same time as they start all the other planning for baby preparations - during pregnancy. A family language plan is a longitudinal plan that follows a child from birth (or … Continue reading Family Language Plan: When and why?
This post was inspired by a reader question, and fits well with the theme of the month, so I am putting my thoughts in a post. This family is from the Middle East, and has Arabic and English as the two languages in their language plan. They began their family in the Middle East and … Continue reading #IMLD: When the Mother Tongue becomes a minority language: Changing your family plan
As a parent who is tasked with helping my children develop three high-status languages, I am acutely aware that even though I find my task difficult sometimes, there are parents who have to work much harder on their bilingual-family journey. These are the parents who speak a minority language with their children, one that has … Continue reading #IMLD: Whole-family support for (very minor) minority languages
I am reposting series of blog posts on different methods of raising bilingual children when you are not within a bilingual community of practice. In this first post, I tackle the issue of why the OPOL method does not always "work" to produce fluent bilinguals. Over the last decade or so, the OPOL method of … Continue reading #IMLD – Being an OPOL family – guarantee of success?
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 Child
This is a great article that explains, from the research, why no one method is a guarantee of bilingual success. When I do parent seminars we talk about this a lot. Being an OPOL family doesn't automatically mean your kids will be bilingual. Having a minority language at home does not automatically mean your kids … Continue reading The Languages you Speak to Your Bilingual Child | Psychology Today