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 [email protected] + 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.
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.
**NEW! Bearded Dragon Daydreams Coloring Book, created by me and my son, 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).
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9
Amy: Was stunned to hear eldest had an anglophone (ml) accent when she began to read in the ML this afternoon!! Didn't last more than a paragraph until her brain switched language, but chuffed mum here!!
Mar 7, 2020 23:05:49 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter found the secret stash of ml books I'd bought at the closure sale of the ml book store two months ago and hidden away for later. Guess it's a good time for new books now, right?
Mar 18, 2020 5:29:38 GMT 9
Caro C.: My baby (16mo) perfectly knows what "hi5" means and readily shows her hand even when we are not showing our hand first. It feels like the first minor blossom of the bilingual seed.
Jun 1, 2020 13:05:36 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice, Caro! Give her a high-five from me! And I look forward to hearing about many more happy developments to come!
Jun 8, 2020 15:12:21 GMT 9