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


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.)?


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


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.


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?

I would love to know more about Time&Place technique that you used with your daughter.

  • How often did you go somewhere (place) and for how long where you there (time) with your daughter?
  • How many times per week did you do that and from which year on? Since the day she was born or later?
  • When did you start noticing your daughters improvement? (Because I remember you once said that as a baby she mixed all the languages in one sentence so that your wife had now idea what the baby wants to tell but that later on - I guess as a toddler she was translating conversation between you and your mother. And as a young lady she now speaks 5 languages as a native + others she started learning by choice. Correct me if I am wrong :upside_down_face:)
  • Would you do the same if you would have more kids? Or would you go in the park (place) with every one of them separately?

I am also familiar with OPOL (one person one language) techniques that Tetsu Yung talks about as well as how юля девяткина used this technique and some connections with techniques of Елизавета калугина.

I did some research on brain development in Bilingual or multilingual children/people and I listed to many audiobooks about brain development. I was quite satisfied with “Brain rules: for babies” from John Medina… if anyone has more suggestions where I can gather more information or if there is any book in particular that you want to recommend I will be very happy.
(I am recently listening to two more audiobooks “Electric brain” from R. Douglas and “Evolve your brian” from Joe Dispenza and I will listen to at least three more in connection with brain functioning and development of the children - I haven’t finished them yet so I can’t say if they are useful for this discussion…:wink::blush:).

If anyone wants to share their thoughts… you can answer me in your native language!!! :wink: - no need to answer in English!