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?
Country (residing now): France Country (originally from): France Children, Ages: 4 and 1 year old girls Majority Language: French Minority Language(s): Spanish (ml1 - "dominant") and English (ml2 -"recessive")
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 book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
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Mayken: My daughter's letter from her class trip arrived - she wrote one message in ML to Dad and another in ml to me. Her first letter in ml without a ml person to help her!
Jun 11, 2017 18:40:08 GMT 9
Nellie: Congrats Mayken, Amy and Joanna!
Jun 12, 2017 10:12:42 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Wonderful, Mayken! Those letters are instant keepsakes that I'm sure will be read again many years from now...
Jun 12, 2017 14:57:15 GMT 9
Amy: Joanna, how did Saturday go? Mayken, enjoy this beautiful keepsake
Jun 12, 2017 20:36:29 GMT 9
Joanna: It went really well! I'll make a good post soon with details
Jun 15, 2017 14:04:30 GMT 9
Amy: Looking forward to it Joanna!
Jun 16, 2017 1:39:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My mom got a lovely postcard in ml too from my 6-year-old daughter on her field trip! Another precious keepsake! (OK, I prepared the card with address and stamp ahead of time, but she did the writing all by herself.)
Jun 19, 2017 23:28:01 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW VIDEO AT BILINGUAL MONKEYS TV! Your Child Wants to Be Bilingualhttps://youtu.be/C2uQhIZPp80 (And please subscribe to my growing YouTube channel!)
Jun 21, 2017 8:49:35 GMT 9
Mayken: Our ml section will have a flea market stand at the school fair with used books, games, DVDs and CDs for sale. I donated 2 games, promised my daughter she could choose something. (Proceeds are for the school's ml section.) Love the idea!
Jun 22, 2017 23:23:00 GMT 9
Amy: Am I to read something into the fact my toddler slammed Adam's book into my face...??
Jun 25, 2017 20:58:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: "Mommy, you better make me a polyglot...or else!"
Jun 26, 2017 6:40:56 GMT 9
Nellie: Ahaaaaaaaa Amy!!!
Jun 26, 2017 9:44:39 GMT 9
Joanna: I'm a member of a FB group Mums Space France and we're planning a weekend in September...taking over campgrounds in France , in English!
Jun 27, 2017 14:50:49 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter got her report card today from her grade 1 ml class. Almost straight A student. I'll make sure to practise reading aloud and spelling basic words with her over the summer. Very proud and happy.
Jun 29, 2017 5:09:33 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, congratulations to you both! Hope it's a fun, language-filled summer!
Jun 29, 2017 5:54:17 GMT 9