I know most of the world doesn't observe the American tradition of Thanksgiving--and we don't either, here in Japan--but I thought this week might offer the chance to reflect and feel grateful for the important sources of support on our bilingual journey.
What are you thankful for?
Here are three of mine...
1. I'm thankful to my wife (recently rechristened "Keiko," which, since she's Japanese, makes more sense as an alias than "Ginger," the name I had been using for her). Although I don't often mention Keiko (which is more to her liking), the truth is, she has long played a crucial role by being a mainstay of moral support. This has enabled me to freely make the choices and take the actions that I believe are best for our children's minority language development. Without her good-hearted understanding, which I'm blessed to have, this journey with my kids would undoubtedly have been more difficult and less successful.
2. I'm thankful to my kids for being such happy, playful little people and making this quest so fun and memorable. At the same time, I deeply appreciate the fact that they generally do their best to meet my expectations for their efforts in the minority language, despite their long school days and heavy loads of homework in the majority language.
3. And I'm thankful to all of you, all the parents who visit my blog and this forum, and offer their warm kinship, their personal perspectives, and their helpful ideas. I've gained so much from you and continue to become a better parent and teacher (and even person, I hope) as a result of our interactions. You've had an important impact on my life!
**My new book, "28 Bilingual English-Spanish Fairy Tales & Fables", is now available at booksellers worldwide!** Adam Beck is the author of the popular nonfiction books "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and "I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!" (illustrated by Pavel Goldaev) as well as the award-winning humorous novel "How I Lost My Ear" (illustrated by Simon Farrow).
- I am thankful to my husband, he is the most amazing and supportive guy on earth. For his continuous support on raising our kids bilingual, and for using the ml with them too.
- I am thankful to my kids. Their smiles are all we need to make life wonderful.
- I am thankful to my minority language family and friends for the heritage and values they taught me, and that I am trying to pass on to my children. For the ml material they send or bring to us when they visit.
- I am thankful to the bilingual resources such as forums like this that we find online. For all the insightful tips and experiences shared.
Post by Gabriela Guarnerio on Nov 25, 2015 15:31:12 GMT 9
Yes. And besides my hubby, my beautiful boy (who still doesn't speak a word at 17 months), and everybody in this forum, I thank my bilingual pets for all the effort they also put into keeping up with three languages (dog language and cat language included).
There may not be many words in my house (yet) but we got a lot of love.
I am thankful to my parents for the childhood and the experiences they gave me and for the amazing ml grandparents they are now.
I am thankful for my monolingual husband who has been 200% with me on bilingual childraising from the start, despite knowing nothing about it at the outset and starting off with a love-hate relationship with our ml. (Which makes me wonder sometimes why he dated me, given he knew about my mother tongue.)
I am thankful to my daughter, for her being there (which was not a given) and for being the wonderful little girl she is.
I am thankful to our school with its native speaker program for our ml. I still consider getting a spot there like winning the jackpot.
I am thankful to the Internet for making it easier to find resources in the ml and to keep in touch with the ml family and for this great zookeeper community.
1. My husband David. He's has always been the main reason our project is a success. His willingness to miss out on half the conversation is very rare. I didn't realize how rare until recently when I started interacting with other OPOL families with resentful ML parents.
2. I am very thankful that we live in an area that has a large ml community and also all sorts of other diversity.
3. I'm thankful for our daycare teacher. Her name is Valentina and my youngest has been at her daycare since she was 2, for about a year and a half. Beyond being an amazing teacher and provider of a warm home environment by any measure, she has been tremendous in language development. She has a minor in speech therapy and she has made my oldest pronounce all the Russian sounds correctly in the summer she was there before starting school. And the youngest...it's just absolutely amazing. I have a child that is more comfortable in ml than ML. Which also drags the oldest into using Russian as the language of their communication.
4. I am thankful for my children. They are absolutely awesome in every way. Except the way they are fighting right now. And in 5 minutes. And probably in 10 minutes too. They are so smart though. The three year old wants to learn how to read, and is really starting to do so. The 6 year old is fully onboard with the language thing. She never fights it, never pushes, and even told her classmate (passive bilingual) that at Russian gatherings they are supposed to speak Russian. She's even willing to put up with endless homework from her Russian school. It may be kicking and screaming, but she does it in the end.
5. I'm thankful for my daughters' Spanish immersion school. It has been so awesome for Russian development. My daughter is not a freak being bilingual, she's the norm. She's not the only one spending her evening/weekend at a language school. She goes to Russian school. Her friend Zoe goes to Korean school, Katie to Chinese school and Ashlyn to Spanish cooking lessons. It is a such a wonderful community that makes her feel like a multicultural community is how things are supposed to be.
6. I am thankful for my street, and the girl who lives on it - Leah. In a world where everything is scheduled and activities have to be driven to, we live in a place where kids roam the street. It's absolutely normal to get a knock on the door and have Leah standing there to see if our girls want to play. They bike, draw with chalk, make up stories, go from house to house for various activities. That is in my opinion what a happy healthy childhood should be like - free and spontaneous. This one has nothing to do with language. It's all English outside. Yet not everything is about language. My kids' wellbeing is my number 1 priority, language has always come second. I'm thankful that here I don't have to choose one or the other, I can have both.
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