Raising Your Child in a Language Not Your Own?
Many parents speak a foreign language well but are non-native speakers. Yet, they wish to raise their children with that language. Is it realistic, or even practical, to attempt to raise a multilingual child in a language that is not your mother tongue? Tim from London, shares his concerns:
'My partner is bilingual French-English, whilst I am an English native speaker. My French is really quite good, but we speak English to each other. We are now expecting a baby whom we would like to bring up bilingually. My partner is committed to speaking French to him, but what do I do?
What I like about both of us speaking French to him is that it helps to cement the minority language; on the other hand, I know I would make mistakes, and, at times, be at a loss for the right word. I also -- and perhaps more importantly -- imagine that I would feel rather unnatural communicating with my son in what is not my native tongue.'
Why would you speak to baby in a language not your own? My answer would be -- why not? Maybe it is the only option you have for raising a bilingual child, you may simply like the language, or as in Tim's case, you'd like to reinforce the second language. All of these are completely understandable and valid reasons; (Read more)
excerpt from the Multilingual Children's Association