Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Language Factor

We have decided to try and raise our son bilingual or least with big exposure to a second language.

I am an American who lived in Germany and I speak good German. My husband's family if from India and he is first generation american. However his family did not teach him their native language and it is something he really wishes they had done. I still have my german family, whom I visit every other year. So to make a long story short. We decided that we really wanted our son to be exposed to a second language and the easiest for us is German.

I am now hunting for resources and experiences similar to what we are trying to do. My German is strong enough that I could speak only in German to him but it takes more effort from me. Needless to say I am not hitting that mark. I have gotten some basic materials like "teach me german" and some books but I could use some more ideas. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We listen to the Deutshewelle in the morning and sings songs....oh I wish I could find a german play group but at this time I just need some creative ideas.

Here is another site I found
  • Blogs about Bicultural Families

  • I am also in the process of trying unsuccessfully I might add to update my blog, please excuse the construction phase. My connection is very slow here.


    tut-tut said...

    Hmm. I'd ask around your area; I bet there are German speakers you don't know about whom you can corral for a play group or some such.

    somepinkflowers said...

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    i just explored yours a bit.
    very nice photos
    and interesting views.


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    Eat, Pray, Love;
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle;
    ~*Lonesome Dove~~

    how about that!

    i was most touched
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    dragonflydreamer said...

    I also believe that children should be bi-lingual. The area that I live in has become predominantly Spanish and I am surprised that even though the want ads in The Washington Post probably request 75% Spanish speaking applicants, they still do not teach it in school until 8th grade as an elective. If I come across anything helpful, I will definitely let you know. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet message

    Gillian said...

    Kids absorb languages like candy. Feed them languages!!!!!

    Nice blog, I appreciate your visit and comment, thank you!!

    sewenz said...

    Pecos blue,

    see my answer to your post on my blog.

    Where in Germany did you live? I am a grad student in Mannheim, my family is from Marburg. BTW: I thought about raising my child---which is planned---bilingual (German+English) as well. My fiancée's English is awesome.

    Alles Gute für die ganze Familie!

    Jeanne said...

    Much love and many blessings to you thanks for your visit and kind words.
    Good luck with the language sourcing.
    Love Jeane

    Pecos Blue said...

    Somepink flowers that is odd. I will have to ask you for some book recommendations!

    SaffronSaris said...

    You're updating more regularly, I must remember to come here more often :)

    I think it's a useful skill to learn more than 1 language. I can communicate in 3 languages, and I can't tell you how much of an asset that is to me, especially when I can travel off the tourist zones in countries where English is not the lingua-defacto.

    I'm still split among taking up another language: should it be Spanish, Italian, French or German?

    Your pics of the Grand Canyon are awesome! I'm salivating for more ;p

    Keshi said...

    u can say Im a Polyglot, tho not fluent in all the languages I know :)

    Im quite fluent in English, Sinhalese and Tamil...and I know a bit of Hindi, Spanish etc. :)


    Pearlsofeast said...

    Thanks for sharing information about bilingual factor.Infact my son has many languages to follow here and he will be going to bilingual ( Eng- chinese) school coming year.Hope that works well with him.

    patty-jean said...

    Thanks for your encouragement on my blog...Re:bilingual - Ca n'est pas facile! - It's not easy, let my tell you - we are battling that one as well with our 2 under 3 1/ a predominately english culture, strangers and friends worry about our children when they hear us speaking French to them.."oh what if they don't speak english well" - well i grew up uni-lingual - and i can't speak english well! As much as possible we collect french children's books for reading to them - yes they have english too - we are finding that b/c my husband and i speak english to each other and french to the 'littles' that english happens very naturally - presently Selah (3) speaks what we call, "Fran-glaise" a mixture of the 2. Good Luck - it is possible, but challenging i know many a french-canadian family like ours who's children fell away from their french roots, and i know a family, where dad spoke french, mom spoke german and they speak fine english and are stronly tri-lingual!

    njt said...

    SOOO awesome that you are going to teach Bryn another language. That is SO great for him. I applaud you!!!

    Maybe find some German Mom blogs. I bet they have great ideas.

    You could apply for a German exchange student to live with you. Or maybe find a German nanny?


    Kavan said...

    Good luck, I'm afraid I really don't have any wonderful ideas, I mainly speak meezer.

    Thanks for visiting my bloggy


    howunremarkable said...

    I think teaching your child a second language is an excellent idea. I only speak one, despite the fact that I took several years of Spanish in high school. I wish I'd learned more.

    I have taken a few semesters of American Sign Language and really enjoyed it. I've heard good things about teaching it to children and seen some very sweet YouTube videos as well :) It's definitely an opportunity for another means of communication.

    -howunremarkable from Swap-Bot

    Pecos Blue said...

    Great idea about the Youtube!

    Melanie Gray Augustin said...

    I wish you the best of luck with that! My post-grad studies are in linguistics and one subject I took was on creating bilingualism. The benifits far surpass ones of just language.

    How good is your German still? The best way for a child to become truly bilingual (in my opinion) is the one environment, one language method, or one parent one language method (maybe google search these terms or feel free to email me if you like.

    Living in Japan, a number of my friends are in international marriages and are successfully using these techniques to a great success.

    I was trying to remember the name of the book I've recommended to all of them (and they all swear by), I was sure it was called "Raising a Bilingual Child", but that search brings up another book by the same name. Might be worth a look.

    The book explains not only how to do it, but looks at the committment involved and what to expect.

    Sorry for the long comment!

    Anrosh said...

    i have an indian kid who is my neighbour. as you may know india has many languages and the mother and the father spoke a different language while growing up, but the common language they know is hindi and english fluently.

    when the kid was younger they spoke to him only in english but spoke to each other in hindi. the kid who is now 7 year old speaks english fluently, can understand hindi very well ( minus the difficult words ) and can speak correct hindi one liners.
    yes, he watches hindi movies, which i must say has helped him learn the language.

    ours is a predominantly spanish speaking area. and kid is already picking spanish words from his classmates and french too from a french speaking kid in his class.

    children can pick up many languages at the same time after he has learnt one language fluently by the time he is 5.

    my personal opinion is this , if the kid has mastered phonetics in a very difficult language , he will pick up the language from his environment. though language classes and a predominant exposure of the language is a must to become a fluent speaker.

    the very fact that you want to teach the kid will help the kid to learn the words. he will keep asking you the for the german are like sponge. they absorb everything.

    All the best.