Photo Credit: Kate Williams
The Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism is in my neck of the woods this month and I am ready to party! Don your best multicultural costume (which represents all of your cultures), pick out the most colorful mask (which speaks to all of your languages) and let the bilingual blogging carnival festivities begin!
I am so very honored to be a part of this group of fantastic bilingual bloggers. As I read through each post in preparation for this carnival, I got teary-eyed and laughed out loud more times than I can count. I called my German husband over again and again to read out passages to him from posts.
I saw myself and my family portrayed in the words and images of these wonderful writers and couldn’t help but say to myself: This is where I belong. These are my people. This is my tribe. Multilingualism will forever be in our souls and there is nothing we can do about it. We are united by this common bond.
Thus, without further ado, I would like to introduce 21 individuals of a fantastic global bilingual-blogging-tribe! Drum roll please…
Let’s start with some quandaries. We all have them. Sometimes big ones, sometimes small ones. If we didn’t, then we’d be drinking a martini next to the pool reflecting on our financial portfolio rather than deliberating on our children’s bilingualism.
- Rea has a complex. She is no linguist but she figures there must be some valid reason as to why her son has decided that the words “vulture” and “taxi” are essential vocabulary while “Mommy” hasn’t even made it on the list yet. Find out what her son calls her instead of Mommy in her touching yet hilarious post Mysteries Of The Toddler Mind and The Otro Papi Complex.
- Mamapoekie, on the other hand, is focusing less on vocabulary and more on which French accent her daughter will end up adopting: Ivorian? Camaroon? Congolese? She shares what is really the most important when it all comes down to it in her post titled Accents.
- As she explains in Does Leyla Say Any Words?, Jenny has barely started her bilingual adventure with her 15 month old but the discouraging comments she gets from others aren’t helping her endeavor. Add that to an older daughter who would rather learn German than speak Spanish and you have many quandaries and one big challenge!
Is it Enough?
Who doesn’t wonder if it is enough? Is it enough language exposure? Do we have enough quality materials? Is it enough human interaction? Will we ever stop wondering if we are doing enough for our bilingual children or does that just come with bilingual family territory?
- Lulu wonders how she can possibly know if what she is doing is enough. Will her son’s English suffer based on what she does or doesn’t do right now? Her post, Road to bilingualism…, is a wonderful encapsulation of what is on the minds of many of us and the comments that follow her post are as wonderfully insightful.
- In her post Teaching Elliot Spanish — Making it Up as I Go Along, Lynn shares with us her realization that only speaking Spanish a quarter of the time is better than nothing! Each time her son speaks a word in Spanish, she feels gratified knowing that the effort is so very worth it.
- Lalou used to wonder how she was going to juggle both French and German at home with her sons. How could she make sure that they had enough exposure to each language? In The story behind Laloulah, she shares her fantastic solution which even got her sons excited and motivated.
- For a fantastic outline of just how one mom is going about increasing more German language exposure, read Cartside’s post 6 Step Plan to Boost the Minority Language! Now that is what I call an organized approach! It is sure to have a wonderful outcome.
There are special things that happen when our children grow up with more than one language. A particularly fascinating one is the way in which their dual (or multiple) languages influence one another. Another is the way in which living with more than one language excites our children about languages in general.
- When it comes to languages influencing one another, in her post Selective Hearing, Rebecca shares some of her daughter’s hilarious and fantastic language mixtures! Forget code-switching! This girl is engaging in inter-word-accent-mixing-and-matching at an expert level.
- In her post Language Lessons from a Three Year Old, Janis shares how her daughter is speechless when Daddy pronounces an Italian word oh-so incorrectly. Ah, thank goodness we have our children around to correct our horrible pronunciation. Who needs the language teacher anyway!
- Jan shows us just how easy it is for multilingual children to use words from all of their languages with the ease of an expert in his post Interpreting is Easy for a BabelKid! Our children simply live their languages easily and comfortably, no need for excessive contemplation and concern!
- Eve is learning Dutch from her son who picks it up for the first time from an alternate track on a DVD. As she shares in her post Enthusiasm for Learning [insert any language here]!, children who know more than one language are drawn to languages. Seeing the proof of that makes raising bilingual children worth all the effort!
- Could this explain why some children have an easier time learning a second language than others? Roxana explores this issue in her post Can Everybody Learn a New Language? where she explains the role that personality, language status, and language families have to do with it as well.
When is the right time to start thinking about our children’s education? What about opening our own bilingual daycare? Wouldn’t that solve so many of our concerns?
- Sandra’s son is only 18 months old yet this seems as good a time as any to start contemplating his education options. Things are more complex when multiple languages are involved! As she describes in her post “Schools” for Sprout – international or not?, finding a school with language support comes with a very expensive price tag.
- Isabelle on the other hand opened her own bilingual daycare but learned some very hard lessons along the way. Her post, Are Your Bilingual Childcare Expectations Reasonable?, is the Multilingual Living submission for this carnival.
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