Monthly Archives: September 2013

Feat No 17: Oops! There is always room for improvement.

That was the title of one of my slides for my talk on Bilingualism and Multilingualism in Language Learning and Families.

While preparing my talk for our 1st Workshop, I felt I should mainly use material from this blog. I tried to create a summary of all the things I have learnt, used, taught, studied, dealt with and felt while raising my children bilingually and multilingually.

 As I had paused the blog for a while in order to prepare for this event, I thought I should remember if I had added something to our daily routine now that Maggie and Nicholas are older. Or notice something in our home that had been changed or added to facilitate us educationally.

 I actually did come across two things:

* I remembered that just as we follow a pattern with our daily audiovisual moments, we started off using the same pattern for bedtime books. Before the children go to sleep, depending on which language day it is, I give them a stack of books in that language, either to flip through, or one of us reads to them; or Maggie even reads to Nicholas.

This helps them in all sorts of ways, whether they actually read or are read the book, or neither. If they are read a book, they gather all the pronunciation and vocabulary, phrases and expressions, illustrations and concepts the book (and its language) have to offer! If they flip through the book, even the direct or indirect encounter with the letters of the book and the pictures, offers a lot. In the case that Maggie reads the book to Nicholas, well then what more can you ask for! It’s the full package. And all that in a very pleasant and calm atmosphere. Relaxing before bedtime in one of the best ways!

* The second thing I realized was a mistake! A slip-up! And I mentioned it during my talk.   We love having things organized in the house! Especially I do. I personally wish I could have every single detail organized and labelled. Of course, a touch of messiness here and there has its special effect, too – or at least, I have persuaded myself so, in order not to get too obsessed with the issue.

 In Maggie’s room, we have several small wooden boxes that hold different items, mainly for crafts or collections. I labelled them, as you probably would expect, but…did so ONLY in English. So I took a photo of this error of mine and brought it up towards the end of my talk. All participants not only realized the mistake immediately but also understood the significance of writing the labels in our family’s other two languages as well.

And that is what I shall do tomorrow. No, no, I am not delaying something that I can do today… I just forgot the labelling machine at the office. It’s on my To-Do list!

Thank you!

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 1.57.07 PM

Feat No 16: The magical harp

Every summer, we visit Greece. Even though on holidays, our language project is at its best. The participants of this project are there waiting for us to express their love and spend their time in the language they each use with Maggie and Nicholas.

Before reaching our hometown, we have been visiting the same beach hotel for the past three years. We like it very much there and most of all we love the live harp music in the  evening. Especially Maggie.

For three years now, she has been asking to begin harp lessons. Patiently and persistently. She registered at our local Music school and this August the lessons began! She is enchanted!

We even rented a harp at the right height so that she can practise at home. She loves it so much that already from the first lesson she learnt the chords and their exact positioning. In the second lesson she had created a song of her own.

When Maggie practises, Nicholas sits down in front of her. Enchanted!

We are all enchanted by the magical harp! The harp she fell in love with in GREECE, is being learnt here in GERMAN and she can play songs in ENGLISH!

Thank you.

the magical harp