Bilingual children are amazing and children are like sponges that can absorb another language easily. By having a parent, that speaks another language other than Italian is a wonderful opportunity for your child. However, what happens when they go to a public school and learn their home language with teachers that really do not have the qualifications of teaching another language?
Here is my story. I have two children both speak, read, and understand really well, American English (yes it is different then British English). During their years of Elementary, it was interesting to say the least to watch what would happen in their classes of English. During this time, the Math teachers having to take over the task of teaching English replaced the English teachers. From the start, my oldest was very strong in his English. He got to the point where he was almost teaching the class. The teacher was always checking with him and relying on him for the words she was not sure she was pronouncing correctly or the right word in a sentence she was creating. She did not mind that he was using American words or that he spoke American. She also did not correct him when he would use the American spelling instead of the British spelling. He did not mind this but other bilingual children might have a problem being singled out to help the teacher.
My second child, born here, did not have such the understanding teacher and at first had to learn English by a cd in class. The teacher wanted the children to repeat the words exactly with the British accent (an Italian speaking British on the cd) that was being heard. I have horror flash backs when I had to learn Spanish in High school that way. It was horrible trying to follow the speaker on a cd and not being able to stop it or repeat it to follow. One day he came home in tears because the teacher said he was not pronouncing “blue jeans” correctly. The “u” in British has a different accent then in American English. Unfortunately, we had to tell him that he needs to try his best and to follow what the teacher is teaching. In other words if she wants British he needs to do it in British. That teacher left and another teacher came that taught more like my first child’s teacher. She was more understanding to the American and British differences, yet both are English. Now in middle school and the teacher is teaching the British “u” again. She is telling the children that the British “u” is pronounced like the Italian “a” and that the word “us” is pronounced like “ass”. Now my child came home telling me that he needs to say “ass” for “us”. Now I am envisioning my child in the US going around saying that and being laughed at. I know that there is an accent on the “u” but I do not think it is the sound of “a” in Italian.
What stories do you have of your child learning English or even another home language in their classes at school?
Ciao moms! Posting this on here since it might be of interest to many of you:
A mom in our network was recently contacted by Juditta Miosota from Spain, who is doing a PhD online survey about bilinguals and multilinguals (English, Spanish, German, Arabic, Italian and others) and I said I’d be willing to participate.
She’s looking for any other bilinguals/multilinguals to participate in her future online research (questionnaire) and asked if I’d help spread the word. If you’re interested, you can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Infants who are raised in bilingual homes learned two similar-sounding words in a laboratory task at a later age than babies who are raised in homes where only one language is spoken. This difference, which is thought to be advantageous for bilingual infants, appears to be due to the fact that bilingual babies need to devote their attention to the general associations between words and objects (often a word in each language) for a longer period, rather than focusing on detailed sound information. This finding suggests an important difference in the mechanics of how monolingual and bilingual babies learn language.
National Wildlife Federation publishes magazines for children. Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr, and Animal Baby Explorers. These are the magazines I get my children and I have gotten them since they were babies. It helps them practice their English and the subscription fee goes to the environment. I love it and they do as well. They can use your international credit card and ship overseas.
Has your child has been diagnosed or you think your child has a Learning Disability? There is Dyslexia, Dysphagia and many more different types of Learning Disabilities your child might have. You should check out these links. There is help out there for you child.
Salima Qureshi-Biagiotti is an American speech-language pathologist living in Florence since 2004. She has volunteered to write a column on language development in regards to Bilingualism. Here is a description of her upcoming articles in the Spring Issue. Her first one is on The Bilingual Child: Mother-Tongue (Discusses importance of parents using their mother-tongue to establish self-identity, self-esteem, connection to both parents homeland…etc.) The second will be The Bilingual Child: Defining Bilingualism (Deciding to raise a child bilingually should be carefully planned. Creating a definition that best fits your family is the first step.)
Bilingual & Multilingual Children’s Association
Your practical web-guide to raising multilingual children. Expert advice and real world wisdom with parent discussions, tips and articles on kids growing up with multiple languages. From birth through school
Interesting article via this link. E-mail sent to me by the creator of Bilingue per Gioco – il sito del bilinguismo.
love Sue x
Ciao a tutti,
sul Corriere della sera di carta, ma anche sul sito, è uscito un articolo che parla di bilinguismo per scelta e di Bilingue per Gioco
L’articolo si trova qui:Non solo scuole. Giochi e musica, come inventarsi il bilinguismo. E’ uscito sabato scorso, ma ancora oggi è per il settimo giorno sulla homepage del Corriere. Considerando che non menziona nè morti, nè bunga bunga nè personaggi famosi questo è un risultato insperato, il segnale che da parte delle famigie c’è un vero e vivo interesse per questi temi. Che qualcosa stia cambiando?
Spero che lo troverete interessante, vi pregherei cortesemente di condividerlo a vostra volta, anche via Facebook, è Facebook infatti a mantenere l’articolo sulla homepage del Corriere.