Multilingual Childhoods

We are entering the fourth year of our multilingual adventure. With my eldest daughter soon to be four, we have got to that stage where we can relax a bit about language learning. She is already speaking fluently in two languages, English and Spanish, and doesn’t seem to resent it or even think it’s weird. I suppose it has also something to do with the fact that most of her friends are also bilingual or multilingual. We are also feeling increasingly confident about her third language, French. She understands it perfectly and she has started speaking bait to me and to my French friends. [Read more...]

It’s the Season to be Jolly…

Merry XmasIt is indeed the Season to be Jolly for those who celebrate Christmas. But of course as every year, I feel that cultural differences are at their peak here. I still find it strange to talk about cultural differences between two European countries so close in space and with so much history in common, but Christmas is lived differently in England and Spain. [Read more...]

New Year’s resolutions and the bilingual children

2013 marks the start of a new era, not only for the whole world if we believe the Mayan prophecies, but also for my little family and many more around the world. As many of you know if you have been following this blog, we started off planning for our bilingual children as soon as we knew they were coming. I always loved languages and had to learn them the hard way, namely, sitting, translating and studying grammar, so nobody can be surprised if I wanted my children to know languages without the hardship. So, since birth, our two daughters have been spoken to in three languages, Spanish my native language, English Dad’s native language and the local language and French, which I speak fluently but it’s not our native language. [Read more...]

Myths of bilingualism

Bilingualism, like many of those ideas that inspires love and hate at the same time, has grown a few myths around it. We have all met that 60s or 70s child, product of a multilingual, multiracial, multicultural family, who is however monolingual and absorbed with the life of the country of his birth. When asked about his roots and linguistics ability, this 60s-70s child responds that his parents wanted him to fit in, didn’t want him to get confused, wanted him to learn to speak… and lots of different reasons that for most of us, parents of bilingual children, seem like lame excuses. [Read more...]

Top tips for happy bilingual kids

When I started on my bilingual family trip, I did some reading about bilingualism and bilingual family. One of the things that really surprised me at the time was how the many articles of information written by the “so called experts” and parents quoting those experts made free use of the term “bilingual”. Let’s be clear on something, a person like me who speaks only one native language and a second foreign language well is bilingual, a child who has being brought up with two mother tongues is bilingual, yes, of course, if we take the term “bilingual” as meaning “two languages”. However, it’s plainly obvious that their bilingualism is inherently different. I will use the term bilingual kids here to mean children who speak two mother tongues. [Read more...]