Google+ Raising a Trilingual Child: January 2014


Monday, January 20, 2014

Planting a language tree.
Does passive language learning work?

Our family, like many other multilingual families, follows a language strategy in which parents speak to each other in a language different from the one they speak to their children. My husband and I communicate with each other in English, I speak Russian to our children, and my husband speaks Italian to them.

In our multilingual family set up children are exposed to English language mostly passively with very little active interaction. I always believed in the power of passive language learning; however, I was still wondering if it can bring any good results. My children are now 4,5 and 2,5 years old, and everyday I see more and more

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Life Story: My Three Languages – English, Spanish and Quechua

This is a story of  Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou.  She is trilingual and speaks English, Spanish and Quechua, an indigenous language of the Andean region in South America. Her multilingual parents did not speak all three languages to her, but only English.  Nevertheless, the multilingual environment she was surrounded by shaped her life in a unique and a beautiful way.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What should I order? Mortadella alphabet! - Fun way to learn letters and start writing them.

 Apparently there is nothing as easy and fun as teaching  your child letters using an aromatic Italian mortadella! One evening I was preparing appetizer for kids, I took a big piece of  mortadella, the Italian heat-cured meat sausage,  and

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 - Raising a Trilingual Child Blog Posts in Review

The 2013 year is behind the shoulders. It was the first year in the life of this blog.

Thank you everyone for joining me! I appreciate your positive feed back! 

Even though my children and my ambitions to teach them three languages (Russian, Italian and English) kept me busy, I tried hard and I managed to find time to share my thoughts, ideas and discoveries with you.

Pregnant bellyI started the blog with the post Raising Bilingual / Multilingual child. Where to start?  describing our family strategy: Exposing our kids to languages  and created the multilingual family Language Strategies page for your reference.

Baby reading
I believe reading is essential in teaching a child speaking and developing a rich vocabulary. Guess when did I start reading to my child? You can find the answer in Bilingual child: when to start reading? post and the tips are in How to read to a baby?

Do you know anything about virtual babysitters?  Skype has opened a virtual window between our living room and Russian speaking grandparents. I am so thankful my parents could support me in many ways: virtual babysitting is one of it. Preserving grandchild - grandparent bond and keeping up the minority language with video calling.

mother walking with strollerHow do you call the languages you and your spouse speaks? I believe Naming languages with their proper name  also helps children to separate the languages easily and gives a wider view without limiting to only family boundaries.

As a parent teaching children a minority language I learnt how not to pass on an opportunity to expose them to new words: Walking with your baby and showing him the world.

Baby mouthHa ha ha or correcting your child's pronunciation problem. post was born after a lot of worries about my son's wrong pronunciation of the Russian letter "X".

I asked myself and answered a question: How much time do we have to influence a child's minority language development?

When my younger child started speaking I was wondering what language she would speak with her brother: What language do multilingual siblings speak to each other?  I am so glad that as of today it is still Russian - the minority language and hope it will stay this way for at list one more year.

I should stress once more that it is important to be proactive in introducing new vocabulary in minority language: Being proactive in exposing your child to the new vocabulary .

I answer the question: Should I correct my child speaking?

As parents speaking a minority language, we also need to work on being a good example for our children: How to prepare yourself to be a speaking model for your child.
Many of us have ups and downs on the way to multilingualism. The right motivation helps a lot in staying on track, but this is the reality: "No English!" Motivation is the key.

Drawing and wood toys for language learningSome fun activities for language development were born while interacting with my daughter: Mixing art, material objects and imagination - a recipe for language development.

My friend asked me a very good question I found an answer to: Can babies distinguish foreign languages?

I welcomed Amalia, a guest on my blog pages with her amazing  Life story: A Journey to Multilingualism. If you are bilingual or multilingual from birth and would like to share your story, feel free to contact me via email: trilingualchildren [at] gmail [dot] com.

Child cuting paper makes russian letter "Б"Many of you agreed that Teaching the letter sounds before letter names helps in facilitating teaching a child to read.

If you know good documentaries about nature, please share them in the comments of  A touch of nature on a rainy day post.

boy opening christmas presents
If you are expecting a child and/or still have to figure out how to merge the multicultural traditions, reading the post When to give your child Christmas presents - an international family challenge. might give you some ideas and help you to make the right decision.

Russian BooksMy children enjoy reading books with me and I am glad that many blog readers found very useful the Russian children's books list . You can also review my kids favorite Russian cartoons and movies at the end of the book list. Some more resources in Russian:  Russian winter season kids songs  and books review.

Happy holidays to everyone! 
Let the 2014 bring you love and happiness!