Raising Children in more than one language

by SonoftheTrinity 8 Replies latest social family

  • SonoftheTrinity

    I recently told my wife that I am speaking only in the Jamaican Dialect from now on in my house because she has failed to teach her children her Native Language because she has put religion first, manners and discipline second, their education third, and her Native language somewhere at the bottom. While I am not Jamaican, nor have I been to Jamaica I lived in a Jamaican Rastafarian community as a Rastafarian. I am now Orthodox Christian as are many Rastafarians and I still consider myself culturally Rastafarian but no longer identify with their heresies. I don't chat Jafaican like some Brixton kid, I chat Jamaican Iyaric Patois, and now that the Bible has been translated into Jamaican (which makes it more of a language and less of a dialect) and available for free on the Bible.is app for both ipad and android I feel reenergized to speak it after all these years since I can't well speak the Jacobean register of the KJV around the house in more than little phrases. The dumbed down stilted and hypercorrected 4th grade Textbook English they use in the meetings (so that everybody can understand) and in all their social activities carries over to real life and is making my kids STUPID. If my wife isn't teaching them her native language I'm speaking only Patois around my house, because if a mans home is his kingdom, and as a mere figurehead king if I can't decide the state religion, this king can at least change the language, especially if the vocabulary is 3/4s the same as Standard English. I know that some people may say that I shouldn't speak a dialect because it might cripple their grammar, but they are already have good grammar at 9 and 10. I speak fluent Spanish, and I will probably also switch to only speaking Spanish if at some point either of them enrolls in it as long as that one is in it. What is it about Jehovah's Witnesses and using the acrolect ALL THE TIME? Its as if 'ain't' were as bad as the F word! As a polyglot, that offends me, and polyglots are smarter than grammar school teachers. As a polyglot I understand the power of language and the power it is exerting on my wife and children, vis-a-vis both worldly media and the Witchtower media and I'm doing something about it!

  • Mum

    I envy people who grew up in bilingual or multi-lingual households. If one can speak Spanish, Chinese and English, he or she can communicate with most of the population of the world.

  • happy@last
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    I think if they are aged 9 and 10 it might be too late to get them to pick up a second language that easily. Best if they were 4 and 5 or younger. No harm in trying, once they have mastered 2 languages it is easier to pick up others

  • Frazzled UBM
    Frazzled UBM

    My son spent the first 3 years of his life speaking Tagalog but now speaks English exclusively and has forgotten his Tagalog and now at 8 resists my wife and my attempts to get him to speak Tagalog. In my case my wife, who is a Witness, is fully on board with my son speaking her native language. She is a member of a Tagalog congregation (when she goes, which thankfully at the moment is very seldom). I hope he iwllk become more willing to relearn Tagalog when he is older because I agree with you that speaking more than one language is very helpful educationally and it will also help him to communicate better with his cousins in the Philippines when we visit.

  • jgnat

    My granddaughter is in French Immersion and ha heard Nyrwanda and Swahili around the house since she was little. I think multiple languages make the mind flexible. http://www.ted.com/talks/jamila_lyiscott_3_ways_to_speak_english

  • zakharijah

    We live in Scotland but we only speak French at home. My 4yo daughter's bilingual (well... she speaks and understands both languages at the same level), she picked up the language at nursery and via TV and friends. So far so good. Kids are really amazing. I wish I still had a brain like hers.

  • prologos

    one theory was that we have the capacity when very young to activate , speak any language and that gift is pruned later in life.

    It takes effort on the part of the parents.

    we are fluent in 4 languages in the household, but the kids only in 1 well, the rest spotty, very spotty.

  • SonoftheTrinity

    Zakharijah does she speak Broad Scots with her friends or is she growing up in a more English speaking community?

  • forest heathen
    forest heathen

    I was 8, my sister 6, and my brothers 9 and 13 when we were introduced to Spanish. My mother was around 30. It is such an easy language that we were all fluent by about a year. I am now in my late 40s and my mother is 70. She is constantly surprising people. No one expects this old white lady to speak perfectly fluent Spanish.

    If you can teach your kids two or more languages you are certainly giving them an advantage.

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