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Raising Bilingual Children - How are you teaching your children? Your experiences?


pip 10 | 1,661
26 Feb 2012 #31
what I am taking away from his post is that he has adopted English because his children are not able to string a sentence together as compared to other children. It is no surprise that kids that learn one or more languages at the same time will fall behind- but when the ultimate goal is speaking more than one language than who cares. Seriously- who cares if the journey is longer as long as they get to the final destination?

It is the "now" mentality. In order for something to be perfected it needs to be worked on- there will be highs and lows along the way- such is life.
Jimmu 2 | 157
28 Feb 2012 #32
If you are like most parents you will pray that they will someday start talking until they do, then pray that they will someday shut up! :->

Kids always learn to speak differently to different people. The way they say something to Mom is not the way they say it to Dad. And the way they talk to kids at school is not the way they speak to the teachers. Why not take advantage of that and the presence of native speakers during the time of life when they are most receptive to learning language?
Ant63 11 | 403
2 Apr 2012 #33
Seriously- who cares if the journey is longer as long as they get to the final destination?

The child may!

If we are talking about younger children thats fine. An older child of say seven ( I have experience of this) from Poland, depending on the parents, arriving in England, is going to be at a significant disadvantage. It appears the Polish children are not only educationally behind, but emotionally also. They are immature. The English children will have experienced a minimum of 2 years eductaion and in a lot of cases more. This represents a huge problem as this child needs to catch up just to stand a chance of leaving school at 17 with minimal qualifications.

This is a huge burden for a child so where do you start with this? In our experience, my partner has spoken in Polish to the children, and as time has passed by, the children have gone from answering in Polish to responding now in English. Sounds really odd to our Polish friends and most can't keep up. My partner was determined to keep them speaking Polish, but it is what the children are more comfortable with that will prevail. It appears English is winning. This is fortunate because it has made it easier to help the older child catch up. I would say after 2 years we are a year behind with the older child meaning he has caught up 2 years but it has been incredibly hard work with constant communications with the teacher. It's much easier to teach a younger child and my partners younger child is speaking fluently in both languages with only the odd tense error in English,odd incorrect structure in Polish sentences and an English accent. She has left her ESL peers way behind and most of her English peers. I feel the difference between the children is partly because the younger one is more interested because she has less distraction and because the boy is older he has missed the ideal opportunity to get him interested in writing and reading. There are more interesting things to distract him. Obviously this is not the same for all children but I should think it applies to the majority.

I don't mind what language they speak at home to be honest, although I don't speak Polish, I'm just happy they are getting on and will have the same chances as their English peers. I do think the older child will lose his Polish as he is already asking me how to say things in Polish; like hand, but as he is living in England and is unlikely to return to Poland other than for holidays, if he can't speak to gran, so what. It's him thats important not her. If I were to move to Poland with young children, my first concern would be to do everything possible to get them speaking Polish. No English school for my kids.

I do believe parents should explore every option before uprooting their children and placing them in a foreign country when thay have just started their education. It's sad to see children that will never achieve through no fault of their own, purely because their parents do not have the resourses to help them. There are too many round here.
Catwilson253 - | 1
21 Sep 2012 #34
My kids were 5 years old and were not fluent in speaking Chinese previously. I was the only Cantonese speaker in the house and the kids' exposure to Chinese is minimal. My one kid was interested to learn canto, but I didn’t want to push him further by sending to Chinese school. Then I called a tutor for him at home and now he speaks Cantonese very well actually.
Polsyr 6 | 769
7 May 2015 #35
My child was born after the previous post in this thread was written, and he is being raised trilingual. It takes a lot of discipline on the part of both parents to keep this up, because we both tend to default to English since it is the easiest of the three to communicate in.


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