This is revised from a previous post, and is for all the Dads out there wondering why they are being left out of the party... 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 … Continue reading Mother Tongue, Father Tongue?
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
One of the questions that comes up in almost every seminar I do is related to reading. Most of the families I work with are lucky enough to have available children's books in both family languages. Children (being often contrary) tend to pick up a book from the "other" language and refuse any attempt … Continue reading Reading: Who does what, and why?
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?
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?
One of the most important elements, outside of the parental languages, in a Family Language Plan is the choice of school. Of course, not every family has the ability to control this element of their language plan, but if you do have a choice, it's important to choose wisely. There are three elements to look … Continue reading Making the right school choice for your Family Language Plan
Last night I had the pleasure of spending the evening with a very diverse group of parents. All of them had children who will grow up with two languages, and many had children growing up with three or more languages. A few of the families are lucky enough to have multilingual partners, who speak each … Continue reading Whole-family support for (very minor) minority languages
Whether you are an expat family considering a new local language for your children, or a family dealing with multiple languages, the concern about amount of language is the same. How much of a language, over what time frame, is enough for bilingualism to be successful? Or at the least, how much is enough to … Continue reading How much (insert language here) is enough?