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Q&A: Should minority language parents always be consistent about using their mother tongue?

Q&A: Should minority language parents always be consistent about using their mother tongue?

  Question Dear All, We are an Italian family living in France. We speak Italian at home (two hours at night and on the weekends/holidays) but sometimes in the afternoons after school, when my husband is not there yet, it happens that I speak French as well to my daughter (I’m very exposed to it […]

Q&A: How to do OPOL as parents if you are used to mixing languages?

Q&A: How to do OPOL as parents if you are used to mixing languages?

  Question Hello My wife is Australian, I am Flemish (Dutch-speaking Belgium) and that is also where we live. We are expecting and want our child to be bilingual English-Dutch to pass on both of our cultural identities. Nowadays, since my wife’s Dutch has become very good, my wife and I speak a mixture of […]

Q&A: Should grandparents avoid code-switching when talking to their grandchildren?

Q&A: Should grandparents avoid code-switching when talking to their grandchildren?

Question I was raised bilingual in Mexico City (and have always lived in Mexico City). My father is Mexican and my mother is from Boston MA. My two boys were raised bilingual. My concern is this: my daughter-in-law (Mexican) and son who now live in Rio Rancho N.M. are raising my two grandchildren ages 4 […]

Q&A: Will parents mixing languages confuse a bilingual child?

Q&A: Will parents mixing languages confuse a bilingual child?

Question Both my husband and I are bilingual in French and English. We have exposed our daughter to both languages and I now realise that we may be confusing her as we both speak both to her… We currently live in an English-speaking country and plan to move back to France by the end of […]

Q&A: How to support all the languages of a trilingual 4-year-old.

Q&A: How to support all the languages of a trilingual 4-year-old.

Question I am Korean and my wife is Japanese. We have a 4-year-old boy and currently live in the US. My wife and I speak English to each other, although we use broken English (not perfect English). My wife speaks Japanese to my son while I speak Korean to him. However, when we are together, […]

Q&A: Bilingual child minders speaking more than one language - good or bad?

Q&A: Bilingual child minders speaking more than one language – good or bad?

Question Hi,  I’m a Spanish-speaking mother married to a German speaker, living in Germany. Each of us uses our native language when interacting with our 4-month daughter – basically: one parent one language.  I am now looking at kindergartens for my daughter to go to once she’s one year old. I have found a “bilingual” […]

Q&A: What to do about bilingual teenagers mixing languages?

Q&A: What to do about bilingual teenagers mixing languages?

Question: Our children have grown up learning both family languages and they are now teenagers. We are happy they can speak both languages, but are horrified by how much they mix the languages when they speak to each other. When they speak to people who only speak one of the languages, they do manage to […]

9 reasons why a child might not become an active bilingual

9 reasons why a child might not become an active bilingual

Why do not all children in multilingual families grow up to become bilingual? What are the differences between the families that succeed and those who don’t? First, let’s start with some quick myth-busting: How clever or linguistically talented a child is has nothing to do with becoming a bilingual – any normal child can learn […]

Mixing languages?

Mixing languages?

If you are a bilingual like me, you know that we all do it – we mix our languages in our everyday lives. When we can’t think of a good word in one language we simply pick one from the other. Sloppy, lazy talk? Actually not, it is called code-switching and it has been researched […]