Wouldn't life be so much easier if children were as excited about languages as we are? I'm wondering if anyone else's children complain when you speak/interact in the ml. It gets me down when I hear them say "I wish we could watch it/read it in English." Or "I wish you wouldn't always talk in French." My children are older (ages 6-12), they know I am more fluent in the ML, I have never been 100% consistent in the ml. Yet I am amazed at how much they still understand in the ml. Do you have a way of staying upbeat and persistent when your budding linguist is dragging their feet?
Unfortunately I only have compassionate feelings to offer. I have the same problem with my 4 year old and have not found any useful way to handle these situations. In fact, she is being a bit defiant of late, which can really get to me as it ends up in arguments.
Whatever you do, kids will always criticise and complain. It is only once they become adults themselves that they realise it was a good thing. As a kid, my Mum put me up for ice-skating classes. I used to moan and protest as a right little devil every time I had to go, and made my poor Mum's life hell. Yet, once on the ice, there was simply no way you could get me off it. My daughter is just the same with her tennis classes. Well, it is just the same with the ml acquisition. My daughter tries to defy me, yet this morning without any prompting she was happily singing away her own made-up songs in ml2!
In any case, I keep going, like a machine. I don't listen to my disheartened feelings. I guess that for once my stubborn nature serves the purpose or perseverance!
Having been a trilingual kid myself, I am passionate about being trilingual as an individual and as a family (brings me back to happy times in my youth ) and this helps me in not simply reverting back to the comfort of the ML when my daughter tries to bring it back at home (we use combination of ml@h + OPOL).
My husband's unconditional support definitely helps me to keep right on track, I think that without it I could have given up.
Grit your teeth and keep your chin up, it is a long and bumpy road, and you will only get there by staying on course.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Sometimes my daughter complains...but less so since she started at her French bilingual school. I think most kids do, as obviously they would rather do what is easier for them. As most people would! My son always says he doesn't want to do tennis, but once he is doing the tennis he loves it. Kids might complain now, but later in life they will be thanking us and probably teaching their kids the language (hopefully!!!). Keep up with it!
Melissa, I think my basic approach to children and complaints (about our bilingual journey or anything else, really) involves plodding playfulness. In other words, while I naturally feel some discouragement, if this resistance is about something that I feel is important to continue pursuing, I keep plodding onward. At the same time, though, I also reflect on what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, seeking ways I might strengthen the playfulness and appeal of our interactions or the activity in question. (Working with kids for such a long time has made me question my own actions first when a child expresses resistance. I put the onus on myself to turn that resistance into engagement.)
While it's true that I sometimes act more forcefully and make stricter demands, my much greater aim is to attract little flies through the use of sugar, avoiding the vinegar as much as possible. Toward this end, the most effective "method" is playfulness, which is why this theme is such a central part of my work with kids.
Perhaps this page of links, Creative Ideas, would offer a bit of fresh inspiration for your playful use of the minority language.
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Wojtek: Adam, will you be watching in a few hours the football match between our national teams?
Jun 28, 2018 20:27:10 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy birthday to two bilingual monkeys: Adam Beck's daughter Lulu (14) and mine (8).🎂
Jun 29, 2018 23:10:16 GMT 9
Amy: Happy birthday to your 2 bilingual monkeys Mayken and Adam Beck !
Jun 30, 2018 5:15:05 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, that's true, but in our case, the U.S. didn't make it to the World Cup this time! Japan has gone through, but they'll probably get knocked out very soon...
Jun 30, 2018 7:22:16 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wojtek, Poland won! I was disappointed, though, to see Japan hold the ball at the end of the game because they only wanted to go through to the next round. I understand why they did that but I wish they had played harder...
Jun 30, 2018 7:24:42 GMT 9
Wojtek: Well, it suited both teams to slow down the ball. However, it was really unexpected and peculiar
Jul 1, 2018 1:16:27 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Cologne to my hometown, I saw a boy about 9/10 and his older sister. She was fluent in German but spoke French with a slight accent, he spoke only French. They were visiting their grandparents. I was intrigued but didn't ask.
Jul 1, 2018 22:06:55 GMT 9
Wojtek: Does anyone know an online English speech language therapist? I thought that it could be a good idea to get my girl evaluated in her ml...
Jul 6, 2018 4:02:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! My 8-year-old daughter passed her ml swim test today! After swimming & diving, the pool attendant asked her to recite the swimming/safety rules (our recent captive reading), and she knew them all!
Jul 6, 2018 21:28:23 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Bilingual Lives: Ana Cristina Gluck, Author and Publisher of Multilingual Books for Children (with a Book Giveaway!) buff.ly/2ziSQ4J
Jul 7, 2018 11:28:32 GMT 9
Agnese: First words. What to expect? My son is 10 months old. He's still babbling, but I've noticed some different sounds depending on the situation. I wonder if he'll start saying his first words in the next weeks (or months, who knows?). What should I expect?
Jul 11, 2018 0:30:24 GMT 9
Amy: Don't expect anything Agnese. Just let it happen, and then what he says will hit you like a train. It's an amazing moment. Just live it and don't overthink it. Whatever he says, in whatever language it is, it is a magical moment.
Jul 11, 2018 5:11:14 GMT 9
Agnese: I've recently found a further (annoying) challenge: when I speak ml (Italian) to my child (10m) in front of ML acquaintances, they are making jokes about what I said (mostly accent, similar unrelated words...). What do you think is the best way to act?
Jul 15, 2018 13:04:11 GMT 9
Amy: Agnese, it is simply because they never had the opportunity to be acquainted so closely to that language. Just smile and keep going. Over time (even if this may seem long), the comments will fade. Don't show your son you are embarrassed by your ml.
Jul 16, 2018 3:56:41 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Agnese, I strongly second Amy's advice! Stay strong and continue speaking Italian!
Jul 18, 2018 6:22:37 GMT 9
Adam Beck: And Agnese, keep in mind that, above all, the highest priority is your bilingual aim, not the other passing concerns that are part of this experience (for us all). Don't let these distract you from the greater goal.
Jul 18, 2018 6:24:49 GMT 9
Agnese: Thank you! After this setback I feel stronger than ever! The same day of the incident I ordered plenty of books in the ml on Amazon and I'm reading every day new research on bilingualism and bilingual education. I'm ready to defend my goal! Thanks
Jul 19, 2018 18:37:58 GMT 9