I’m Sachiko. I live in Sendai, Japan with my Australian husband, 9 year old daughter and 6 year old son.
Before our kids started going to school here, we focused on them speaking English at home as we expected their Japanese will pick up as they go into the Japanese school system. Our presumption was right, they immediately picked up Japanese and of course now their minority language English is suffering. They are so busy with their school work and sports, we barely have any time to sit down and work with them on things like reading and especially writing during weekdays. I’m guessing we’re aren’t the only ones facing this issue, does anyone have any ideas/stories to share on how they deal with such a problem?
Anyway, looking forward to hearing everyone’s stories on this forum!
Sachiko, welcome! Greetings from Hiroshima to Sendai!
Of course, I can completely empathize with your situation because my family has gone through the same experience. (My kids are now 16 and 13.) The transition to elementary school is challenging, yes, but it sounds like your children already have a good foundation in English, because of your proactive efforts when they were younger, and you can continue to build on this foundation through the years ahead. In your case, because both you and your husband have English ability, I would encourage you to make English as much a part of your family's home life as possible. In particular, it's vital to continue reading aloud to them in English every day (I've long read to my own kids at breakfast before they head off to school) and engaging them in literacy activities on a regular basis, like through a homework routine and "captive reading."
For all the specifics on these, and much more, please visit the Take a Challenge board, which has a wealth of ideas that could help strengthen your minority language routines and activities.
I hope this initial response is helpful!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo and the author of "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability"; "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!"; "28 Bilingual English-Spanish Fairy Tales & Fables"; and the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear".
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Najwa: My eldest sings and verbalizes his figures/cars stories in an invented language that has English sounds and Italian accent. Is it his way to disconnect from his multilingual world?
Nov 27, 2020 18:27:01 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Najwa, it's hard to respond to your question without knowing the full details of the situation. I suggest starting a thread at a suitable board and offering as much information about these circumstances as you can.
Dec 1, 2020 20:54:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! And let us hope that 2021 is a much better year for the whole world!
Dec 24, 2020 9:00:27 GMT 9
Marisa: Merry Christmas to you, Adam, and to everyone! I also hope 2021 is better than this year we're about to end. It shouldn't be too difficult, right?
Dec 26, 2020 1:03:58 GMT 9
Amy: Happy Christmas Adam and Zoo Keepers! May you all enjoy some quality time with you loved ones. Stay safe.
Dec 26, 2020 22:37:02 GMT 9
Caro C.: My daughter, 2yo was rocking her bunny while trying to sing her own way. This was something completely new so I made a video... just s couple of seconds had passed when she clearly says a whole spontaneous sentence in the mL: "this is the music". #EpicWin
Mar 11, 2021 14:08:31 GMT 9
Caro C.: It is just now, many hours later that I came to savour the moment since I had a pretty busy/moved day... so excited about this, something small but meaningful 😍😁
Mar 11, 2021 14:11:43 GMT 9
Mayken: That's so cool, Caro!
Mar 12, 2021 3:37:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Good for you and your daughter, Caro!
Mar 15, 2021 10:59:32 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Instagram Live Interview with Adam Beck Watch the replay at this link: www.instagram.com/p/CNlqDXSH49Y/ Note: The video freezes in the middle, but then unfreezes shortly after that.
Apr 13, 2021 22:08:44 GMT 9