My name is Tanja and I have no children of my own but I speak four languages fluently (Luxembourgish, German, French & English) and I have over 13 years’ experience working with and interacting with bilingual children.
I have worked for over 10 years’ as a nursery school teacher in Luxembourg and an additional three years in London.
I am originally from Luxembourg and Luxembourgish is my mother tongue, but I did my studies in German, at home I speak French with my boyfriend (who is Belgian) and I live in London at the moment (so using my languages every day).
My sister brings up her children bilingual (English and Luxembourgish) in the UK.
I am a 35 year old trained and experienced nursery school teacher, teach German at a Saturday school and have a Bachelor qualification in Social Work.
I only finished my Bachelor of Arts in social work a few months ago (in Germany; distance studies) and I thought about what I could do next after working for so many years with bilingual children and use all my other skills.
Therefore I decided to offer language sessions in London and online.
During a typical session, I would speak and interact with the child / children in one of my languages. The aim of the class is to be educational, yet fun and interactive, so the child learns naturally and comfortably within a structured environment. The lessons usually involve speaking about different topics that spark the child’s interest, reading stories and singing together which improves the child’s language skills and also their confidence.
When I was researching about activities, articles... I found Bilingual Monkeys on Facebook and could refer to most of the posts through my own personal or professional experience.
I think language is very important and I want to pass this on to others, children and adults.
What's on your mind right now? Just type and hit "Enter" to share it here!
Raquel: I love it, Mayken! What a sweet lady. I would have listened in and not asked, hehe. Did you use it to show your daughter how useful the ml can be?
Dec 21, 2017 20:35:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, my daughter loved it - both the coincidence, and that this lady was learning our language!
Dec 24, 2017 22:25:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Happy New Year to you all! Let's make 2018 a really good year!
Dec 31, 2017 7:04:50 GMT 9
Joanna: Packing to go home from Canada...luggage scale reading 23 kg of minority language books!
Dec 31, 2017 23:48:06 GMT 9
Amy: Happy new year to all! . May 2018 bring you every success in your bilingual endeavours!
Jan 1, 2018 23:08:58 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy new year to everyone! I shared a little New Year's Eve story in the Snack Bar.
Jan 5, 2018 5:08:21 GMT 9
Mayken: 7yo wrote her Christmas letter in the ml and sent it to Santa's address in our ml country. This week she received his reply - and was somewhat offended that he replied in the ML
Jan 5, 2018 21:47:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's very cute, Mayken!
Jan 6, 2018 7:57:09 GMT 9
Amy: Oh no Mayken!! I'd also feel very gutted in her shoes! Hope he made up for it by spoiling her on Xmas!
Jan 7, 2018 1:12:53 GMT 9
Mayken: He totally did, Amy! Especially her most important wish - the second illustrated Harry Potter (in ml, of course).
Jan 9, 2018 0:06:05 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy 2018!! How come Santa replied in the wrong language? That's weird.
Jan 9, 2018 19:26:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, he gets letters from all over the world at that German address, and I guess the reply is in the language that matches the country fo the child's return address. Next time she'll use my mom's address (if she still wants to write to Santa then).
Jan 10, 2018 0:38:19 GMT 9
Raquel: Mayken, I just was surprised that, reading a letter in a certain language, they would reply in a different one. But if it's an standarized letter, then it makes total sense.
Jan 10, 2018 21:42:23 GMT 9
Mayken: It is. Our local ML Santa, to whom my daughter wrote the year before (in ml) replied in ML too but started the letter with her name. But then he's serving a town of 37,000 people only.
Jan 10, 2018 23:18:32 GMT 9
Raquel: Makes sense, Mayken. Thanks for explaining.
Jan 11, 2018 22:31:51 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter called me out twice this week for using the wrong language with her. The second time it was only one work (number of a métro line).
Jan 12, 2018 0:16:39 GMT 9