And here it is, can I have a fanfare please, tatata taaaa! the first carnival on raising multilingual children. When I stumbled across my first hurdles in raising my daughter bilingually, all the books I'd bought were of little use. So, in good old blogger fashion, I tried to find blogs on the topic to get some answers to the questions that I had. It wasn't as easy to find blogs about raising bilingual children, and there is no significant online community that brings them together. Up came the idea of a bilingualism carnival in the hope that this may kickstart some discussion on the topic, some exchange of experiences and ideas, and provide a platform for parents to find answers, share tips and signpost to resources.
The plan is that there will be a regular carnival on the topic which will support parents going through the trials and tribulations of keeping more than one language and culture alive in their households, while providing a resource of ideas and experiences for those who are or plan to bring up their children with more than one language.
The great thing about bilingual parenting is that often, the language combination doesn't matter so much because the experiences are quite similar whatever the language pair. To be fair, the blogs I've come across have given me more ideas and support than any of the books on bilingualism I bought (and believe me, I bought quite a few).
If you're interested in hosting one of the next carnivals, please go to the bilingual carnival page over at Bilingual for Fun, where you can find the schedule and register your interest.
The next carnival on raising children bilingually will be over at Blogging on Bilingualism, on 30th September 2009. Please send your contributions to whim2 @ comcast.net leaving out the spaces in the address. Above all, huge thanks, danke, gracias, spaciva, grazie, merci, go raibh maith agat, dank u well to everyone who contributed to this first raising bilingual children carnival!
Bilingual children: how to start seems to be just the right place to begin this carnival. Barbara at Barbaraland raises her children with Italian and English and dispels the myth that raising bilingual children will confuse them or may be bad for their language development.
Not so very sure about this is Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things in her hilarious post On swinging both ways, however, I always thought the 400m hurdles were the most exciting part of any athletic championship, so here's to bilingual hurdlers!
Fraught Mummy at Brits in Bosnia ponders in her post Learning Languages the way her family's move to Bosnia has affected their children's ability to speak English and how they may lay the foundations for future trouble, with their children being able to speak a language they themselves aren't fluent in.
If your children are approaching school age, Letizia at Bilingual for Fun offers a comprehensive guide on chosing the right schooling for your bilingual child.
Jan at Babelkid (what an aptly named blog - in his household the children speak French, Arabic and German) has his kids telling him off for using an English word at the breakfast table in a very clever turn of usual events, when he is told that English is not spoken here.
Similarly, Ju at Double Trouble is told off by her daughter for speaking Portuguese at the school in her post Ingles/Portugues (apologies for lack of Portuguese characters, I haven't figured out how to use special language characters in blogger).
Kathryn at Life in Italy writes about her experience of raising two children bilingually in Italy, with English as the "other" language having found out that text book approaches are just that but real life is a different story altogether.
Along similar lines, the Perfectly Happy Mum Peggy will make you laugh out loud in How the hell am I going to teach these kids French where she tells us about her attempts to establish the one parent one language approach in her house. Life's never that straight forward and there are always a number of reasons not to be consistent, I say nodding my head in "been there, know what you mean" agreement at every paragraph.
Emily at Maternal Tales From the South Coast too struggles as she explains in her experience of raising her children French/English in England. It's not as easy as she thought, but not all hope is lost as she will tell you in her post Bilingual Children erm not quite.
And to add to that, I'm including my own first post on the topic of bilingualism, one child, two languages where I explain why raising Cubling bilingual is so important to me and why at the same time in spite of my determination, well, it could be going better.
You can find out all about a bilingual kindergarten on Blogging on Bilingualism where Eve interviews a local German woman who runs a bilingual kindergarten. A fascinating idea, and one that would really help us struggling parents keep up the weaker language (I for my part would be welcoming a German childminder with open arms).
Finally, Smashed Pea at Intrepidly Bilingual looks back on her experience of raising her children bilingually with hindsight in If only I had known..., a great resource for anyone starting out on the bilingual kiddo route or parents at a head scratching phase who are looking for some encouragement and ideas on how to keep going.
That's it for now, hope to see you all at the next carnival on Blogging on Bilingualism!