The majority of families I work with are OPOL (one parent- one language) families, but as I've written about before, OPOL is not always as easy, or successful, as it seems. (see these posts: OPOL: Does it always work?, Different perspectives on OPOL, A final roundup of OPOL stories ) Often, OPOL is adopted because … Continue reading Becoming a “domains of use” family…
For all those who are local, we are offering the seminar "Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success" in cooperation with Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam, on October 17, from 20h00-22h00. This seminar is aimed at parents (or parents-to-be) who have either decided on bi/multilingualism for their children, or are considering it. The seminar … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Seminar October 17 (Amsterdam)
My linguistic resolution for this summer was to speak more French with my kids. Two weeks left in the summer, and how is that going? The answer, unfortunately, is not so well... What I have learned this summer, after spending five weeks in North American (half in the US and half in Canada) is that … Continue reading Being bilingual in a monolingual world.
So, here we are officially summer and officially on summer vacation. This summer brings a lot of major events for my kids; we are taking our now-six year old twins to the US and Canada (their passport countries) for the first time. They are interested and intrigued to meet people who can "only speak English" … Continue reading Summer resolutions, linguistics-style
More parents are recognizing the benefits of bilingualism for their children, but not everyone has easy or automatic access to a second or additional language for their children. In some of these cases, both parents share one language, but also speak at least one other language that they have "learned". There is a common myth … Continue reading “I’m not a native speaker – is that okay?”
Traditionally, bilingualism research used the term "Mother Tongue" to describe the language spoken by the mother. Because there is no use of "Father Tongue" there is an implication that the language that the father speaks is of lesser importance. Is this true? Is the "mother tongue" more important? The answer is, of course, "no". The … Continue reading Mother Tongue? Father Tongue? What’s it all about?
It happens, we've all heard the stories. Bilingualism comes easily to some, and in some situations, and for other families and situations, it's a struggle. So if you are a few years down your bilingualism road and you feel like you are not getting the "results" you expected with your child, what can you do? … Continue reading So this bilingualism thing isn’t really working… now what?
Over the last decade or so, the OPOL method of raising bilingual children has gotten a lot of positive press. It sounds pretty simple - One parent, one language. So I speak French to my kids and my husband speaks English to them, and they will grow up bilingual. Sounds easy, yes? But the reality, … Continue reading OPOL: Does it always work?
I've been thinking about this issue for a while, and was finally motivated to write about it by a post on a parenting board. A Spanish-speaking American mother was considering her language use with her children, and how much Spanish she does or should use with her children. This sparked a discussion with some other … Continue reading Heritage languages: Fighting a losing battle?
Every so often, I meet a parent who would like to pass on more than one language to their children. Sometimes they are a single parent, dealing with a home and societal language, sometimes they are a bilingual themselves and want their children to speak both of their languages. So, the question comes up, is … Continue reading Can one parent pass on two languages?