Google+ Raising a Trilingual Child: September 2014


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life Story. Our trilingual story: It’s all Greek, Italian and French to me!

Welcome to Life Story series. Collection of stories from parents and multilinguals around the world! Today's guest is Marina -  bilingual by birth and now multilingual mama - who is telling us about her experience in raising trilingual children in Brussels. 


Marina Kaffe:  I was born in Italy and raised in Greece. My father was Greek but spoke at home (very good) Italian with my mum so at home it was Italian for me and outside Greek. It was a piece of cake to learn both. I went to university in Italy and perfectionized it there. I actually dream in both languages, some words are definitely easier in one or another language. I have, I would say, definitely a bilingual mind, split and bipolar. English I learnt at school very soon and then at the Uni. I also speak French but in no way fluently. I really find great and lots of fun learning new languages and this I think I have definitely taken because of my bilinguality.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

List of children's books in Polish language - Lista książek po Polsku dla dzieci


Big thanks to Emilia Pallado, who sent me this great list of children's books in Polish language so I can in turn share it with all of you! Emilia is a mother of two trilingual children, who are bilingual in Polish and Spanish from birth, and have been learning English at school.

Dear Emilia - Thank you! Dziękuję! Gracias!

Książki dla dzieci od urodzenia

Marta Bogdanowicz (opracowanie) – Rymowanki – Przytulanki - Author's books on Amazon

Jan Brzechwa - Wiersze i bajki - Author's books on Amazon

Julian Tuwim - Wiersze dla dzieci - Author's books on Amazon

Aleksander Fredro - Paweł i Gaweł - Author's books on Amazon

Maria Konopnicka dzieciom  -Author's books on Amazon


Książki dla dzieci od 3 lat

Monday, September 1, 2014

Trilingual Siblings Minority Language Progress Update. The Younger Sibling Is About to Enter Preschool.

My not yet fully trilingual daughter is 3 now. A big change is coming to our multilingual family life this fall. She will join her brother at a preschool. I closed the eyes on my worries on how it can affect siblings' minority language development and asked to assigned her to a class that is located in the same wing of my son's school building. The preschool, my children go to, has two wings with separate internal playgrounds and one big shared external playground. During bad weather months my children will meet each other everyday for a joined play with peers. I could separate them for the sake of preserving their Russian-only speech relationship, but I did not do it. The time they will spend together playing, developing their brother-sister relationship stands above my ambitious wishes for their trilingualism.

From now on I’m going to keep a closer look at how the community affects their minority language development.

I would like to sum up their progress so far. I look at their language development from a bilingual child perspective, as their third language - English - is still behind their Italian (community language) and Russian (minority language), both of which they speak equally fluently.

Bilingual siblings speak minority language only.

No matter who is around and how far I am from my children, they speak only minority language to each other. They even speak Russian among themselves, when staying with Italian grandparents. If you are raising a bilingual child and expecting a second one, check this  7 facts that can determine the language spoken between multilingual siblings.

Bilingual siblings read in the minority language.

Yes! Both of them, 3 years old and 5 years old, are reading now! Literacy is the biggest milestone in child’s development that will help him at school and in life. No stress at all. I just started early and followed these 7 simple principles to teach a child to read before school.

Planning ahead and adjusting our family language strategy
You would say: “Your children speak your heritage language to each other. It is a success.” And I would agree, that it is, so far. It proofs the importance of good planning ahead and not missing on any opportunity to expose your child to your heritage language.

When your child is born ( and even before), it is a good idea to think what your child’s language environment would be for at least next 5 years. So you can concentrate on the “right” language in the right time.

There are many things that you can not predict. In my case I found it extremely hard to stick to my plan after the birth of our second child. There was a pretty long period when both kids remained babies, because the jealousy kept the older one from growing up and acting as a toddler he was. I had to deal with issues that mothers of monolingual, bilingual or trilingual siblings deal, when their kids are very close in age. Those of you who had to go through it, know what I am talking about.
Constant plan adjustments are necessary throughout the multilingual family journey.

Do you have multilingual siblings? How was it for you when they were little?

If you would like to share your family experience, whatever it is good or bad, feel free to contact me.

Are you successfully raising bilingual or multilingual children? or do you have regrets about something you have not done on time? Please do not keep it for yourself, share it with other parents, by writing a comment or by contacting me for an Interview or by joining great contributors in the Life Story series. You will help thousands of readers!

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