Reinforcing the minority language (Duo´s lecture 14.10.2013) & Making family bilingualism work in real life (Duo´s online lecture 17.10)
In these two lectures Annika Bourgogne, a language teacher and the author of “Be Bilingual-Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families“ shares ideas and tips to combine bilingualism and real life parenting in intercultural families where children need the reinforcing of the minority language.
The online lecture starts with a citation that raising your children bilingual is like breastfeeding - something very natural, costs you nothing and is good for your children. But as those who have experienced it know, breastfeeding is not always as easy, painless or simple as it sounds. You can also spend a lot of money to make it work.
You could think that bilingualism is also something that just happens when you just do it. It is quite common belief that children are like sponges when it comes to language learning. In fact research suggests that a child needs to be exposed to the minority language at least about 4 hours a day for that sponge to absorb enough. Making bilingualism work in real life takes both parents´ time, commitment, determined decisions and actions that don´t always come without a cost either. Travelling to meet relatives in a minority language country is one of the most effective ways to support bilingualism but it requires both time and money. Reinforcing the minority language and motivating children to speak both of their parent´s languages are the most important steps towards successful bilingualism. In her inspiring lectures Annika shares her good practices, ideas and research based knowledge on how to take these steps in everyday life and have fun while doing it!
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