Friday, October 31, 2008

and back to regular scheduled programming...

we're raising samil bilingual. i'm no expert on bilingual children at all, and to be honest, i probably didn't do all of the crazy research that most parents do before they decide to do something so big for their children.

for us, it's a necessity that samil is completely fluent and literate in two languages. there's really no option. it's not just some fun thing that were are doing to, say, enhance his brain activity or raise his math scores or make him more "worldly."

he is a bi-cultural child with grandparents that are unilingual. all of them. i mean, obviously we will enjoy the benefits of having a child who speaks two languages, the added boost in his academics from the supposed increased logical and critical thinking ability.

that all said.

i cannot imagine trying to raise a trilingual or quadralingual (is that the right word?) kid and expecting him to be fluent in all.

i'm tutoring some kids right now that study in english. play with their friends in spanish. and there mom is just a little concerned that they're not fluent in korean. seriously?

you're raising your children in a spanish speaking country, send them to an english only school... they spend 8 hours in school, 4 hours in afterschool... not to mention the time they spend with me... and you are upset that they don't speak your language?

how much can you really expect from your kids? can you push them so far to make them learn? or are you really just setting them up for failure?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

on raising trilingual children, kids can learn alot of languages at the same time. here are some threads:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=321833

melanie. said...

i don't disagree, anonymous, it's true. they can learn more than one language. but i bet that if you really read up, or TRIED YOURSELF to raise multilingual children you would understand that it takes A LOT of effort. a lot of work. and a lot of extra stimulation on the parents behalf. when your kids spend 8 hours in school, 4 hours in spanish class and then do their homework (in english) it's going to be hard to find time to learn that third language, no?

it's not impossible. it's also not for me.

Jennifer said...

I don't think that you have to do a lot of research before raising a bilingual child. It will probably be hard at times, really hard some times, but you just have to be consistent in speaking English with him (he is surrounded by Spanish all day, and that language usually comes easy). But I dont think that it is much harder to add a third language, it all depends on the circumstances. Had I had more time with my dad, I would probably be fluent in 3 languages, no I'm only fluent in one and so-so in 2 others. But I think you'll be fine without the research. =)

//Jennifer