Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 13.02.2008, 17:10
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
I know there is a considerable risk of the child becoming semilingual.
Be very careful where you use this term. It is a very disputed word and has racist roots and racist connotations... Originally used in research over (unwanted) Finnish migrants in Sweden...
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Richard for this useful post:
  #22  
Old 13.02.2008, 17:11
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
The only thing I would recommend to keep multi-lingual children from mixing up the languages is not to speak to them in multiple languages (only speak your own) or if the child should come with the wrong words not to accept them (even if you understand them). Sometimes when my daughter was young she might come with a German word (by mistake) and I'd say "excuse me?, I don't understand". If she claimed not to remember what something is called in English I insisted she then discribe it to me what she meant, 9 times out of 10 the word popped into her mouth on it's own and from that moment on she'd never forget it again.
This is good advice. I cringe when I hear English speaking parents with kids around and about in the city saying to them, "Oh, we need to go back to the Bibliotek!" or "I'm sure it's here in my tasche..."

That would really mix a kid up with the learning process!
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 13.02.2008, 17:37
Tom1234's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kanton Luzern
Posts: 16,495
Groaned at 579 Times in 454 Posts
Thanked 24,690 Times in 9,940 Posts
Tom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond reputeTom1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

If your child is learning the local language through school or kindergrippe them make sure you make the effort and learn it too if you plan to stay a while.
My wife said that as a teenager here, there was nothing more embarrassing for her than having to constantly translate for her mum at the shops or Gemeinde.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 13.02.2008, 18:01
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,734
Groaned at 25 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers


Thankyou all for the barrowloads of advice & for setting this niggle to rest. Some great thoughts here & reinforces what we have been doing to date.

My thankyou bank is now officially dry ....
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 13.02.2008, 18:05
vwild1
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
If your child is learning the local language through school or kindergrippe them make sure you make the effort and learn it too if you plan to stay a while.
My wife said that as a teenager here, there was nothing more embarrassing for her than having to constantly translate for her mum at the shops or Gemeinde.
Absolutly, the parents should as well learn it but never use it with their children. Nothing more embarrassing for the kids than to speak German as bad thier parents do!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #26  
Old 13.02.2008, 21:33
Tilia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 2,746
Groaned at 75 Times in 42 Posts
Thanked 2,649 Times in 1,194 Posts
Tilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond reputeTilia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

For those who want to read about the subject of multilingual children I can strongly recommend the books of Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. She actually also give seminars in Switzerland quite often I believe.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 14.02.2008, 01:02
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,488
Groaned at 414 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,428 Times in 10,577 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

This is a great thread, I must say. My studies are focused on multilinguism and language acquisition, thank you thank you thank you for bringing it up..Besides, we have 14 mo old baby, I speak Czech to her, her Dad speaks American English to her and we are in French speaking area. So it will be interesting. All she says so far is mama and este (=more).

Just wanted to note that it seems that bilingual children are slower. It even seem some babies in general are slow in starting to speak. It is only our assumption, the newest research actually found out that babies already know cca 60 words before they are a year old, if I remember well it is few hundreds by the time they are two. They just cannot articulate due to the brain development. So, please, do not think or approach your child with this attitude. They are not slow, they are very familiar with words and what you are telling them, they are unbelievably perceptive just unable to let us know. As the articulation muscles are hard to synchronise as it is for one language only so imagine for two or more and certain abstract thinking skills that are necessary are still busy developing...

Being in mutlilingual environment is extremely complex, just think how difficult it is for an adult - and we are cheating, trying to slow it down, break it into phases and learn methodically and systematically, relating everything to our mother tongue. A multilingual child cannot do that so it is not really a matter of multiple languages trying to coordinate, it is more multiple realities trying to relate to eachother. I know it sounds so complicated. Well, because it actually is quite complicated..

I know it is frustrating to watch your baby and compare her/him to their baby friends. It gets irritating, not to hear your offspring talk yet, one starts to question and label the child..And then there are people who start asking...Does your baby speak yet??? Grrrrrrr.

Those babies are supersmart, working overtime, their brains are producing far more elaborate cerebral operations far more abstract than any of their age peers in monolingual world. They are employing much more of their brain than anybody say 6 or 7 years old, due to the fact that they are immersed in two or more linguistical (cultural, social, etc) realities, not even switching back and forth but accepting them simultaineously..And, those languages often have nothing in common! Czech and English??? And French???? Completely different structure, syntax, morphology, everything. They way words relate to reality in those individual languages is so different it is crazy we expect a two year old to be talking.

Bilingual children do start producing correct utterances later, it is true. They are also way better with each of the languages later in school, they achieve more academicaly (they are trained to use their brains differently and more intensely way from the start) and they are over all much better in communication in general.

If I can, I would also discourage parents from those language games,it might drill your child to be passively correct but from motivational point of view it can be extremely frustrating to have a parent trying to critically einforce this way (as saying - "I must work harder on you" "you are slacking" "dont act as you did not hear me" "I pretend I have no idea what you are talking about") as if they did not like the level of their child's multilingual skills. You children are not confused just taking super complicated steps and sometimes it is little rougher than other times. So be fair. It is always good to realise that in fact, your multilingual children are working way harder than you and way harder than monolingual children of the same age. By the time they go to school they will have everything completely sorted or on its way. So just kick back and be proud of having such a smart cookie at home.

Sorry for this monothematic blabber, just wanted to bring in another point of view..and I am soooo worn out.

Thanks for the "semilingual" update, bad connotations are so important to know.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #28  
Old 14.02.2008, 08:36
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,734
Groaned at 25 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
This is a great thread, I must say. My studies are focused on multilinguism and language acquisition, thank you thank you thank you for bringing it up..Besides, we have 14 mo old baby, I speak Czech to her, her Dad speaks American English to her and we are in French speaking area. So it will be interesting. All she says so far is mama and este (=more).

SNIP
thank you so much for a very well though out & presented post, very indformative.

May Sa Dobré !!!!

Last edited by Polorise; 14.02.2008 at 10:56.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 14.02.2008, 09:22
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: zürich
Posts: 3,194
Groaned at 105 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 3,987 Times in 1,625 Posts
i-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

On the other hand, the longer they say nothing the more peace you have!
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 14.02.2008, 09:24
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,734
Groaned at 25 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
On the other hand, the longer they say nothing the more peace you have!
not necessarily, Mk II has a certain way of "articulating" if we can't understand what he's saying ....
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 14.02.2008, 09:28
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: zürich
Posts: 3,194
Groaned at 105 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 3,987 Times in 1,625 Posts
i-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond reputei-b-deborah has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
The only thing I would recommend to keep multi-lingual children from mixing up the languages is not to speak to them in multiple languages (only speak your own) or if the child should come with the wrong words not to accept them (even if you understand them). Sometimes when my daughter was young she might come with a German word (by mistake) and I'd say "excuse me?, I don't understand". If she claimed not to remember what something is called in English I insisted she then discribe it to me what she meant, 9 times out of 10 the word popped into her mouth on it's own and from that moment on she'd never forget it again.
When my little charge uses, say, a greek word in an english sentence, I just repeat the whole sentence (a couple of times) using the correct english. I know he knows the word, so I don´t over-correct him.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 14.02.2008, 09:29
smithash's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hagenthal Le Bas work Basel
Posts: 141
Groaned at 3 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 18 Times in 14 Posts
smithash has made some interesting contributions
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

My first 3 kids were triplets and not only did they have German at kindergarten (followed by Swiss German), English at home but they developed an internal language for communicating with each other. I can't seem to insert blank lines in my posts sorry everyone ash
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 14.02.2008, 10:51
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Luzern currently
Posts: 2,565
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 720 Times in 373 Posts
Richard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond reputeRichard has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
Just wanted to note that it seems that bilingual children are slower. It even seem some babies in general are slow in starting to speak. It is only our assumption, the newest research actually found out that babies already know cca 60 words before they are a year old, if I remember well it is few hundreds by the time they are two. They just cannot articulate due to the brain development. So, please, do not think or approach your child with this attitude. They are not slow, they are very familiar with words and what you are telling them, they are unbelievably perceptive just unable to let us know. As the articulation muscles are hard to synchronise as it is for one language only so imagine for two or more and certain abstract thinking skills that are necessary are still busy developing...
I personally don't believe all the talk of slower bilingual children in the same way as I don't believe that progenies of a multiple birth are slower at walking etc.

Our twins are at the same stage of development as there siblings were and our daughter, while now only 5, speaks 4/5 languages of which 3 are native. And she was merrily talking when she was 12 months which is also quite normal if not early and responding to complex requests in multiple languages by the age of 18 months. Our son was a tad slower but only perhaps a month in both respects so also perfectly normal.

And finally I am a great believer in the words of Goethe who said, The person who knows only one langauge does not truly know that language.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Richard for this useful post:
  #34  
Old 14.02.2008, 10:59
Darkphoenix's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich, CH
Posts: 436
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 300 Times in 175 Posts
Darkphoenix has earned some respectDarkphoenix has earned some respect
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

I think this is also something to be said for the language development between boys and girls. Boys tend to develop language skills later, regardless of whether they are exposed to 1 or 5 languages. Girls tend to start speaking sooner regardless of whether they are speaking 1 or 5 languages. Eventually they catch up with one another in language development but I don t think the number of languages makes a difference if you grow up speaking them. It is only when you learn them later in life when you start having problems differentiating between them.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Darkphoenix for this useful post:
  #35  
Old 14.02.2008, 11:19
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
If I can, I would also discourage parents from those language games,it might drill your child to be passively correct but from motivational point of view it can be extremely frustrating to have a parent trying to critically einforce this way (as saying - "I must work harder on you" "you are slacking" "dont act as you did not hear me" "I pretend I have no idea what you are talking about") as if they did not like the level of their child's multilingual skills.
I think this is a bit extreme; as long as you don't put pressure on the child what is wrong with playing language games?? My little boy often shoves a book in my face and is delighted when I point at the animals and say their names over and over. Sometimes he tries to form the word himself and gets lots of praise for it.

He also has a big play mat with pictures on it and one of his favourite games is he points at a picture and I have to say the word over and over (usually ad nauseum!). Woe betide if I were to try to "discourage" him from playing this and try to explain to him I might pressure him if it goes wrong. He is 16 months old.

I think the trick is to let the child take the lead. Every child is different, and will blossom in their own sweet time and in their own sweet way. I learnt from a very early stage in our little fella's life that you can't always apply "experts'" theories to a baby or a child because most of them have got a fabulous way of bucking the trend.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 14.02.2008, 11:21
vwild1
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
Boys tend to develop language skills later, regardless of whether they are exposed to 1 or 5 languages. Girls tend to start speaking sooner regardless of whether they are speaking 1 or 5 languages.
I wanted to say the exact same thing about the girls and I think this is true in adults as well when it comes to learning a foreign language. Women (on the average) seem to pick up languages quicker then men do.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 14.02.2008, 11:26
Polorise's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: about there
Posts: 2,734
Groaned at 25 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 2,325 Times in 1,259 Posts
Polorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond reputePolorise has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Quote:
View Post
I wanted to say the exact same thing about the girls .

mothers milk chap ... mothers milk ....
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 14.02.2008, 12:14
Darkphoenix's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich, CH
Posts: 436
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 300 Times in 175 Posts
Darkphoenix has earned some respectDarkphoenix has earned some respect
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

I had a long discussion with a friend of mine about his two children, 11 and 9. He and his wife are Italian and both have learned German (he teaches at the ETH). He has found out that when the children speak to him or his wife they speak Italian but when they play together, even though one would consider their mother toungue to be Italian, they speak Swiss German. My friend has started to notice that their use of language is much more situation oriented than anything else.

The nice thing is that they are both perfectly comfertable in Italian and in Swiss German.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 14.02.2008, 21:59
Jana's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richterswil
Posts: 24
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Jana has no particular reputation at present
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

Hey everyone!
First of all, I am part of a triplet myself, having two brothers.
We never had an own language, people also often ask how it is, and wow how cool and everything...but the key thing you have to remember that although you have triplets, twins etc, they are individuals and it is important to treat them like they are.
It's not like we are one item...
And the multilingual thing...I am now working as an au pair (third experience so far ) and in all three cases the children were multilangual and all of them were under three.
Children can adapt very well, I always say, the most important thing is that they understand the languages, they do not have to be geniusses and speak them all fluently.
Coming from Belgium, I speak four languages, I understand them all, but ofcourse I am not perfect in all four of them. So give your children time and teach it to them in a fun
way.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Jana for this useful post:
  #40  
Old 15.02.2008, 10:26
kri's Avatar
kri kri is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,163
Groaned at 43 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 1,953 Times in 991 Posts
kri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond reputekri has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Multilingual Toddlers

I have a question to you all :-)

Our situation is the following: me=italian, Mr. K=German, our common language=english and living in Zuerich :-)

If we were to have children they would be exposed to 4 languages from the start (counting Swiss German) and I am afraid this is too much...

Also, woudl it be an issue if we talk our respective languages in 1-1 situation with the child but english when we are all together? would this confuse the child?

we oculd also only talk italian and german to each other as we have a sufficient understanding, but we find it is a pity that the child would not be exposed to english...

thanks for advice!

Cristina
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
kids language, multilingual




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[Lausanne] info for newbie with toddlers hayley83 Family matters/health 2 16.02.2010 17:02
English Playschool for Toddlers Dani G. Family matters/health 5 14.02.2008 14:39


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:24.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0