Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bilingual Bubbas

Although I live in a fairly small city (I´d call it a town really!!!)with very few foreigners due to the increased interest in learning English, a lot more language academies have sprung up and also because of the university, it´s becoming easier to come across other native English speakers and other foreigners!!

I´m quite lucky as a lot of my native friends have also had babies at a similar time to me so we have a little bilingual posse, 3 of which are all girls(including Chloe) with another girl on the way to join them! Hopefully, this will encourage them to speak their minority language when they are older,especially in the street as they will realise they aren´t "different" from other people. I´m hoping they´ll play together and speak English together and learn from each other and the other Mummy´s or Daddy´s. It´s also great as our children will be able to hear different English accents and get used to them instead of hearing just our accent. For example,I´m from North England but have a fairly neutral accent, one of my friends is from Belfast and two of my friends are from the South so Chloe will hopefully get accustomed to all these different accents. Maybe we´ll even start up our own bilingual playgroup!

Another great thing about Chloe having a little bilingual posse is that we could swap English children´s books with one another, as it is quite difficult to buy English books where we live (you can buy them but there isn´t much choice and they are more expensive)and the library also doesn´t have much variety.

As a parent wanting to bring her child up as bilingual as possible and also as an English teacher, I´m trying to find out as much as I can about bilingualism and educating a child bilingually,and one website mentioned in my Growing Up With Two Languages book was The Bilingual Families Webpage. This website is run by Cindy Kandolf and has allsorts of useful information, including Myths about Bilingualism,Frequently Used Terms and Resources, which lists books and newsletters which bilingual parents may be interested in reading,websites, sources for books in different languages including Spanish,Portuguese, German,Arabic and Chinese etc.It´s definitely a very helpful and useful site to find out more info.You can also read about Cindy´s story and visit her home page or join the mailing list.I haven´t done this yet but if any of you do or have, I´d like to know your opinion about whether it´s worth joining or not! I´m going to check out some of the books,articles and websites reccommended (eventually!) or when I can get my hands on them & more importantly when I have time!!


  1. Okay, I'm really impressed! Not only are you blogging regularly, but you are really doing your research! Good for you!!!
    I just surfed over to the website you mention. It seems to have some useful info, but did you notice it hasn't been updated since 1998? Yikes! :)
    What other books have you read? I read "7 Steps to Raising Bilingual Children" (Naomi Steiner et al) while I was pregnant. And I have "Raising a Bilingual Child" (Barbara Zurer Pearson), but I haven't gotten too far into it. If found the first book to be good for learning about my options for the method I wanted to use (OPOL, etc). But honestly, I haven't done a whole lot of research! I rely a lot on this fabulous blogging community for inspiration and ideas. I look forward to hearing more about the resources you find!

  2. Thanks Kate! Yeah, I thought that the website hadn´t been updated for awhile and was going to mention that but didn´t want to do anybody an injustice!!!Apart from Growing Up with Two Languages, I haven´t really read any other books but was thinking about geting Raising a Bilingual Child,hadn´t heard of the other book you mention.Would you reccommend either of them? Although like you say, this fabulous blogging community gives you lots of ideas too...I hadn´t heard about Environmental print before reading someone´s post about it!

  3. Hi Tracey,
    I liked "7 Steps" for helping decide the method I was going to use. I didn't know anything about raising a bilingual child - I kind of figured you just talk to him in the language! But there's oh-so-much more to it than that! So it really helped me get clear about how I was going to go about it.
    As for the second book, it's been quite a while since I've looked at it (I think it's still packed away in a box from our move last summer....) But as I recall, it had more stories based on a lot of case studies. It was really quite interesting. As I said, I'd like to pick it up again at one point... when I find it :)
    Hope that's helpful to you! -- Kate

  4. Thanks, Kate! Yes, it´s very helpful! I think I might invest in one of them as they sound really interesting and I´d like to find out a bit more about bilingualism.