Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: The Florida Keys
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I want to write and edit a book on being bilingual in America. I would like stories from familieswho have made two languages work in their homes. It would have to be parents who have verbal children who are fluent in both English and the other language.
Families who speak Spanish are definitely welcome, but I'm especially interested in families speaking less common languages.
I'm looking for families in which one parent speaks English as his/her native language, and the other parent speaks another language as his/her native language.
These are the main ideas I would like to hear about:
- strategies on how the other language was introduced in the home, or was it always there?
- if only one parent speaks the language, how does the other parent manage to cope when nobody else around you speaks the other language?
- do you teach reading and writing?
- how do you communicate that the language is important when nobody else around you speaks it?
- what if the child refuses to speak it, knowing that you speak English fluently?
- what tips and tricks would you like to share? Games?
- what materials, if any, have you used with your children?
- can you add if you have added stories and information on your culture and traditions along with the language?
- how long has the parent with the other native language been living in America and how did the parents meet?
- how old are the children?
- does the American or British parent support the children actively learning the other language?
- serious and funny stories, anecdotes, welcome
- what has worked and what hasn't?
Your first name, where you live (e.g. Miami, FL) and country of origin would be disclosed. However, the names of your children could be changed if you like. Ages are also going to be in the book to aid reading parents in comprehension.
The big questions:
What advice do you have for bilingual parents-to-be on how to raise their children speaking two languages fluently in an American or British home?