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Q&A: How to convince a reluctant parent to speak a minority language with a child?

Q&A: How to convince a reluctant parent to speak a minority language with a child?

  Question Hello! As every parent would like to provide best future for their children I have started to wonder about language routine for our baby girl that is due in a month. I would like to get any advice how to introduce the language that is very important to a family and I feel […]

Grandparents as language support for bilingual children

Grandparents as language support for bilingual children

As parents raising bilingual children we know how important it is to give our kids as varied an exposure to their languages as possible. This becomes even more crucial if we are passing on a minority language. Building a network of people who can support us in this task is important and a good and […]

Q&A: Bilingual siblings and their language preferences

Q&A: Bilingual siblings and their language preferences

Question Hello, I am Franco-Mexican and my husband is Dutch. We have two daughters and live in the Netherlands. I only speak Spanish to them, my husband only Dutch, and together we speak English. This works perfectly for us, they don’t mix up, but… lately my oldest only speaks Dutch to her sister (my youngest […]

Bilingual children – language exposure is not enough, attitude counts!

Bilingual children – language exposure is not enough, attitude counts!

A minority language parent’s attitude to his or her own language can be the deciding factor for how fluently the child will learn to speak the language. This is an interesting find from an on-going small-scale study of bilingual children. According to the study, a positive attitude towards the language plays a significant role in […]

Bilingual children travel well, and do well to travel

Bilingual children travel well, and do well to travel

Today, having helped my younger daughter pack for her trip to the other side of the world, I was again reminded of how travelling has been important, in so many ways, for her and her sister. Apart from the obvious of visiting new and revisiting familiar places, travelling has for them played a crucial role […]

Many languages, one identity

Many languages, one identity

In a recent radio program on multilingualism the bilingual poet and Professor Gustavo Perez Firmat stated that he feels very differently about his two languages, with English being a happier language than Spanish. He also answered ‘Yes’ to the question whether he felt like a different person when speaking each language. I find this very […]

How to defend your decision to raise a bilingual child

How to defend your decision to raise a bilingual child

“How fantastic that your child will learn many languages!” and “I think you should stick to the majority language only!” Those are the two extreme reactions that parents may hear when they say that they want their children to become bilingual. My hope is that most reactions are in the spirit of the first one, […]

Bilingual children and grandparents

Bilingual children and grandparents

Today’s post about bilingual children and grandparents was partly inspired by some of the great ideas my fellow bloggers had around the topic “How technology can help you bring up a bilingual child”, which was the May edition of the Raising Multilingual Children Blogging Carnival. When my daughters were small I remember often wishing that […]

Bilingual! Bicultural? Do you know where I am coming from?

Bilingual! Bicultural? Do you know where I am coming from?

“Where are you from?” that was one of the questions from last week’s post – a question to be mindful of when speaking to a bilingual or bicultural child. Many adult bilinguals have however said to me that they don’t mind being asked where they come from – and I do agree with them. I […]

Language and culture - integral parts of a bilingual child's identity

Language and culture – integral parts of a bilingual child’s identity

“… language is paramount for children to become socialized and develop a sense of belonging within cultural settings” This is a quote from an article from a Japanese magazine about the importance of passing on the culture of a language alongside the language itself. You can read the whole article here. I find the article […]