Hi all, not sure whether anybody will still go back to this thread...but I *love* her book, and indeed she has two more out now, which I am (currently) reading. The style might not be for everybody - while written for parents, still tilted towards the academics. Being an academic myself, it is a great fit for me. She provides lots of detailed examples from her family and her consulting, which are also very inspiring. I really recommend it (with the above caveat). One more thing: I find that there is still far too little literature about the second "shift" when kids enter ML elementary school and up. She goes all the way through up to graduation from high school, and what this upbringing did to her kids, what worked, what didn't, which is a very helpful perspective.
Hi everybody -- I have been searching the forum for something on dyslexia and multilingual education but seem to find only threads on speech delay. I was wondering whether anybody has been in a situation (or has advice for a situation) where the kids are doing very well orally, rich vocabulary, but writing and reading is very hard and requires extra efforts. Specifically, my oldest boy is a very smart 8 year old, very advanced in math, very good also at "writing" in the sense of composing a story and comprehension...but printing (letter formation), spelling, reading remains very very hard. We will actually have him tested (neuro evaluation) soon, and I am suspecting some type of "stealth dyslexia" -- he has amazing compensation strategies since he is smart, but it is exhausting and frustrating for him. We are bringing him up trilingually, and his expression is also very good in ml1 (German) and fairly good in ml2 (Italian); his reading is somewhat better in ml1 than in the ML (English), probably since it is more phonetic...but still hard.
So, here is my worry: Whatever the outcome of the evaluation, we will probably get some recommendations for exercises and potentially some push to focus on the ML. Now, for *speech* delay/pathology, I have read and listened to many multilingual & speech pathology experts who urge parents to not fall into the trap of following speech pathology experts and educators without multilingualism experience who will push you to abandon the ml's. I find it very credible that this often reflects simply lack of knowledge on the side of the latter type of experts, and I would be ready to resist such advice.
But how about dyslexia? How if you have to spend time with your kid to practice spelling? I don't want to overwhelm my child, stress him too much. Should I give in and go for a more reduced speed in ml? Should I even take him out of the ml afternoon/Saturday language schools and focus on ML writing/reading? (I would personally be really, really sad and disappointed; but of course I will do what's best for him...) By the way, my second boy (6 years old) is among the top kids in his class in writing and reading, which is nice for us to see so we don't misattribute the outcome to our multilingual situation.
I'd love to hear from people with similar experiences or, really, any advice. Thanks!!
And hi again, Adam. That's very helpful. You are totally right that the more "homeschooling-type" approach would just not be sustainable, and I better get to terms with it instead of driving myself (and my family) crazy. Rather, I should rejoice in the power of small tasks...exactly the message I needed. Thanks! Will also re-read your homework posts; has been a while.
Hi again, Amy -- just needed to send a quick note that I managed to get a Skype call going between German grandparents and the little one (and a bit the big boy); hopefully even a bit more tomorrow morning for middle boy... THANKS!!
Dear Adam, thank you so much for your very nice & helpful response. Many people must have told you this before, but let me say it, too: It is really wonderful to experience your cheerful and encouraging attitude! As much as I truly enjoy this work with my kids (-and, like you, also like it as a commitment device to spend time with them-) I think I tend to get stressed and disappointed too easily ... So, thanks!!
Great suggestion about German (or Italian) university student. I will start looking into this right away! And thanks also for linking some of your posts. Especially the one on letter writing makes a couple of points I had forgotten.
Can I ask one more concrete question: Do you have any more examples on how you pick the topic / content of the homework? Re-reading some of your and others' posts, I am thinking of using the German afternoon/Saturday school's material (or even the ML school's themes) and expand on them. Any suggestions / pointers towards concrete steps "how to write-up the language plan" would be great.
Hi Amy - thank you so much! Yes, that's really interesting that your husband managed to get into a "routine" with his parents and your daughter. Will try to copy that...only that our life is so chaotic right now that I don't even know whether I can find a good regular time. (I sympathized and smiled a lot when reading your description why you sometimes don't pick up... Exactly!) I should go for the morning (as we are 9 hours behind), but on school days it's so hard to even get them ready, and on weekends I haven't been able to get ready in advance before it's time for church/German Saturday school. But you motivate me to try this coming weekend. Thanks!!
I am a German mom raising three boys (8, 6, 5 yrs old) together with my Italian husband in Berkeley, California (USA). We are both excited about bringing them up with the three languages. We are happy about the successes we have had, and about the joy this has brought to them, to us and to the extended family! But, as I learned first from your WONDERFUL book, Adam, we are not alone in finding this "second shift" after they entered ML schools incredibly hard. For starters, how do you fit the ml exposure into their, when ML school is 8:30-3pm, and many or most days are filled with ML afternoon activities? My husband and I are both full-time professors here at Cal, which doesn't make it easier (though I have to admit the flexibility of our job is a blessing).
I'd love to exchange ideas about how to keep at it during the elementary school (and soon middle and high school) years. I found so many resources for parents with young kids, and I find much less for the ones who are now going through the period when the early-life "miracle" ("Look they speak all three languages, just because we talk to them in our own language!!") loses its potency.
Let me start with sharing some things that have worked, many of them from Adam's book or from posts here (THANK YOU!):
* Reading to them even as they grow! Have to admit that I had kind of stopped reading to them, maybe also because bedtime is so hard. Recently, I started copying the "reading over breakfast" idea from Adam which works great. While I got thrown off with in-laws visiting, and also with this time being "crunch time" in my semester, I will try to restart asap ... tomorrow.
* Relentlessly catering to their interests. While in Germany last time I spent time in bookstores and found "Star-Wars-imitating" books about three kids and their adventures in space. My oldest loves it and is reading almost voluntarily. ... He also loves all things invention / engineering, and found himself getting a lot of Italian books on world records and construction techniques.
* Play. I love playing board-/card-games etc. with kids, and it had kind of disappeared from our interactions, between Legos being more important, nagging their parents about wanting to play video games, and of course all the activities. I am more conscious about it now, and always on the search for reading / language fostering games. The thing is, though, you have to be there. Even if you match your kids with another ml-capable kid, they will switch to ML if you don't set the stage, I have found.
But here are the really big questions on my mind:
* I completely agree that Skyping with / letter writing to ml grandparents and friends is so valuable, especially for the "need" component. Embarrassingly, we fail to do this regularly, just since the 9 hr time difference throws us off. How do people with time zone differences handle this? Do you have a firm weekly "appointment" with grandparents? I have one success with my cousin & her kids recently. Would love to repeat it...
* "Homework." We are lucky in that, at least for ml1 (German) there is an afternoon school and a Saturday school, and so far the kids and many of their friends go to both. Still, the teachers are sometimes great, sometimes they click less well with my kids. Also some insist on ml, some are fairly lenient in letting the ML sneak in. And even if those 2x two-and-a-half hours were all ml...it's 5 hours/week, and I guess we should aim for 28 hours/week of exposure. Long story short, I'd love to do brief little homeworks the way many of you do it. But I am not good at putting stuff together (even if I know about Word Search websites, have work books that are fun etc.). I might also make the rookie mistake of having far too high expectations and then give up when we are not proceeding at the right pace. And, with being so busy and not being a "natural" at this, I think I'd need some "program" for me & my boys. Any suggestions?
* Any ideas about music? Streaming that works in German & Italian?
* Any advice how to get a ml playdate going for older kids (8-10yrs)? The approach of "start them off in the ml, and they might stick to it" doesn't quite work any more for us.
Thanks a lot! Also, Adam, let me know about past blog posts I might want to read. Chances are I have done so but always good to re-read. The more concrete things you have shared with us (like the reading over breakfast) are so helpful!
Anyhow, this a great group, and I look forward to more interaction.
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Mayken: 6yo came home from school with her ml report card, and it's full of A's! Proud Mommy (that's me) went and bought her some books as a reward.
Apr 1, 2017 5:04:04 GMT 9
Amy: Finally got round to finishing the translation of one of my daughter's ML book into ml2! Next step is finding out her reaction...
Apr 2, 2017 5:46:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Amy, we're happy to hear your good news!
Apr 5, 2017 6:58:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My girl and I are going to see her ml grandma in our ml country for the Easter weekend. (And buy more books!)
Apr 13, 2017 4:35:53 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, I hope you two have a fun, book-happy weekend!
Apr 13, 2017 5:23:08 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Paris to Cologne we sat next to another ml mother and daughter from our school! Only noticed when almost in Cologne. It's a small ML-ml world!
Apr 13, 2017 21:40:37 GMT 9
Amy: Got fleeting impression during Skype call with daughter on holiday at grandparents' in ml1 country, that her ml1 pronunciation has improved! She even seemed more confident speaking in ml2!
Apr 14, 2017 23:12:48 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Amy, you and your kids are both doing so well! Keep up your wonderful efforts!
Apr 15, 2017 21:26:50 GMT 9
Mayken: During the traditional German Easter fire, my daughter met her friend from her school day in the ml school! So many birds with one stone! (Sorry for the birds ;))
Apr 16, 2017 18:51:11 GMT 9