By Alice Lapuerta
Originally published in Multilingual Living Magazine
What type of multilingual parent do you think you are? Take our quiz and find out. Make sure to answer honestly! You might be surprised at the results.
Not happy with the results? Don’t take them too seriously! This quiz is just for fun. However, it might inspire you to do things differently or to be even more motivated to stick with what you are doing. Enjoy!
1. When you are on the playground with your child, you…
A. switch to the language that everyone else speaks.
B. stick religiously to the language that you always speak to your child, even though others don’t understand your exchange.
C. get embarrassed (what will the others think when you speak in a different language?) and, not knowing in what language to speak, you try to say as little as possible.
D. mix. You at least try to be consistent but can’t help but fall into the majority language sometimes.
2. Five languages…
A. will overwhelm and confuse your child.
B. is impossible.
C. might be possible but you’d rather not deal with so many languages.
D. is a blessing! Research says a child can learn up to 5 languages easily.
3. When your child speaks to you in the “wrong” language, you…
A. ignore him. Your child will only get what he wants if it’s said in the right language!
B. repeat back what s/he just said in the “right” language, then continue the conversation in that language.
C. conclude that bilingualism isn’t working.
D. don’t even notice that it was in the “wrong” language and reply in whatever language your child speaks to you first.
4. Your child tells you that s/he doesn’t want to speak your language with you anymore.
A. You’ve always feared this might happen. This is the end of your bilingual family situation!
B. No chance. Your child will speak your language with you no matter what!
C. You stop speaking your language with your child – after all it’s what s/he wants.
D. You try to talk to your child (in your language) to find out what caused his/her sudden change of mind.
5. Someone in a position of authority (teacher, doctor or therapist) told you that you are not doing your child a favor by using two, three or more languages in your family and that you should drop one language.
A. You think that you should consider their advice; after all, they are authorities, right?
B. You reply: “M-hm. I will think about it,” and blithely continue with your four languages at home.
C. You get mad at their ignorance so you start to argue and cite from research the benefits that children get from growing up multilingual.
D. You know that they are wrong but a seed of worry has been planted in your mind so you need reassurance that multilingualism won’t harm your child after all.
6. When it comes to literature on bilingualism, you…
A. Know all the names of the linguists in the field of bilingualism and what kind of research they do.
B. Have read a handbook on Bilingualism a long time ago, and some names ring a bell, but that’s about it.
C. Read what’s posted on various online forums and a random article now and then, but only for reassurance that you are doing the right thing.
D. Don’t believe in theory. You’ll figure it out alone through trial and error.
7. You think your bilingual child has speech delay:
A. You immediately take her to a speech therapist to get her checked.
B. You seek help in online forums for bilingual families and ask around whether other people have experienced the same problem.
C. You don’t do anything for now. It’ll go away on its own.
D. You consult all your books and become an expert on the research on speech development and bilingualism, and based on these findings you decide whether it’s necessary to take further steps, or not.
8. Your reaction to the word “OPOL” is…
B. “That’s (not) what we’re doing. But what about it?”
C. “Research has proven that OPOL is the one of the best models for raising bilingual children.”
D. “I’m worried that my children won’t develop as well as others language-wise because we’re not doing OPOL, and many say that OPOL is the best method….”
9. You look at the bookshelves at home in your kids’ rooms and you see:
A. It’s chock full with French, Swahili, Japanese and Chinese children’s books. In addition, there are video tapes in said languages, CDs and DVDs and various CD-roms on language-learning programs. All neatly sorted according to languages.
B. Lots of toys but no books. Wait – back there’s one German children’s book which grandma sent over for your child’s birthday. Three years ago!
C. A haphazard mess of books and DVDs. Some in English, some German, in no particular order.
D. Some children’s books but even more books for yourself, mainly handbooks and self-help books for multilingual families.
10. Your aim is for your child:
A. To speak all languages perfectly!
B. For her to be able to at least rudimentary speak the other language so s/he can communicate with her grandparents when they come over for a visit.
C. If she speaks the other language it’s fine, if not, oh well. At least we tried.
D. To speak both languages reasonably well so s/he won’t be a social outcast at school and with peers.
So, how do you think you did?
Click Here to calculate your score and find out the results!
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