Bilingual life and more


bilingualism and vocabulary
October 26, 2006, 12:35 pm
Filed under: bilingual, Blogroll, Deutsch, family, general, life, Uncategorized

A question last weekend about raising bilingual kids made me think and really watch how we teach them two languages. The question was, if they learn vocabulary, sort of like in a language class. My first reaction was “No, they learn by listening and using”, but I was partially wrong…

When it came to games and descriptions of what Anna had to do or what it was about, I was not sure if she understood all of it. She did, but later that day she asked me about a few words she did not understand and when I explained them to her in English, she started to ask what they were in German. We get those questions a lot – what is this in English and what is this in German. So, partially they learn by practicing what they hear, but they also have to understand certain vocabulary to use it correctly.

Language learning for other kids seems to be more in the background, while for ours it definitely is a main focus. This will surely change as they get older, but we are big on keeping both languages up for many reasons. Yes, we do live in America, and most of the world speaks English – an argument I hear all the time – but we do have the possibility of another language. As I recall, it was not the easiest for me to pick up English, and it took years and years of practice. This, we hope to help our children with. They will be naturally fluent in both languages. Most of my family and friends in Germany are not fluent enough to constantly converse in English – so, what would I do with Anna and Emily when we are there? These are just a few aspects.

And yes, it is work on both our parts. Believe me, it is not always fun! And I worry sometimes that our children are not as good in English as the other kids in their classes, but that will pass, too. They are doing double the work now, and I am sure they will excell, as often said for bilingual kids, after 3. Grade. We can only hope ….

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[…] When it came to games and descriptions of what Anna had to do or what it was about, I was not sure if she understood all of it. She did, but later that day she asked me about a few words she did not understand and when I explained them to her in English, she started to ask what they were in … Cool article.Link to original article […]

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