Raising Multilingual Children

We are organising a panel discussion on raising multilingual children on 27th March with a number of panelist, who are using multiple languages at home with their children.

What are the questions you would like to ask the panel about multilingualism and children? #MultilingualIsNormal #MultilingualDay

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Really looking forward to this one!

My biggest question - I’d like to raise my daughter with one of my L2s, most likely German. I’ve tried it off and on, but even though I’m reasonably advanced (perhaps B2 or C1), I still feel like I’m arbitrarily limiting my ability to express myself and therefore somehow putting a constraint on our relationship. Do you think this is a mindset problem, or am I putting too much on myself and perhaps I need to bring in more external resources (videos, other speakers, etc.)?

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Kris, that’s a really great question. Honestly, I feel the same way when I compare how I can speak to my children in my native language (English) vs. how I speak to them in Polish (our home language and I have a similar level as you in German). Rather than comparing the richness of my speech, I focus on the gift of bilingualism I am giving them. I also have support from my husband who’s a native speaker so that all the pressure and work doesn’t fall on my shoulders. I think having more resources and support is never a bad thing. You can always scale back if you don’t feel like you all need it

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Thank you Richard for inviting Raising Multilinguals Live to run this panel on the Polyglot Conference platform. Tetsu Yung, Ute Limacher-Ribold and myself are looking forward to have you join us as one of our panel guests alongside Heather Kozioł, Shereen Sheraan and Thomas Bak.
We will talk about what our multilingual days sound like, how children benefit from speaking several languages and what we should do in the world to cure monolingualism. And of course, we will answer questions from the audience.

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Kris, I think the main question here is: will you make the L2 or German in this case, the first and most important language to talk with your daughter?
As first and most important language to talk with our children we should choose a language we can express our emotions in, and a language where we can be spontaneous.
If German is not that kind of language for you, you can still transmit it as additional language to your daughter.
Would that be an option?