In the strictest sense, we all have a mother tongue as we all have only one (biological) mother. – But does this mean that the language our mother talked to us is automatically our mother tongue? What about this friend I had in school, who was adopted […]
Children love cartoons, movies, games and we all know that the vilains, the “bad guys” are not only characterized by features that make them unpleasant, but also by foreign accents. Sociolinguist Calvin Gidney started to study language patterns in animated kid’s entertainment after noticing that Mufasa had an American […]
Why don’t we say “amn’t I” instead of “aren’t I”? If we say “am I” why don’t we say “amn’t I”? Isn’t “aren’t I” grammatically incorrect? – I recently had a long discussion with my son about the fact that using aren’t I doesn’t seem right, at least not if we […]
Can monolingual parents have bilingual children ? What is a monolingual anyway?
This is an extended version of an answer I gave to parents who asked me for advice about their 7 yo boy turning silent. One or the biggest myths about bilingual children is that they are all like sponges and that they become fluent in no time… Fact […]
Are you raising your children abroad? Are you trying (almost) everything to transmit your cultural heritage and your mothertongue? When our children are second – or third, fourth etc – generation of international children, transmitting cultural heritage and language becomes a real challenge. If your child is first […]
Linguists distinguish between language acquisition and language learning. Children acquire language through a subconscious process during which they are unaware of grammatical rules. This happens especially when they acquire their first language. They repeat what is said to them and get a feel for what is and what […]
We can find many suggestions about how to support our children to become bilinguals* when they are toddlers, in preschool or primary school. But what happens when they are teenagers and young adults? Can we still support them with their family languages or other languages they’re learning along […]