Tuesday, 5 November 2013
The Bilingual Balancing Act
Going to school opens up a whole new set of challenges for the bilingual family. How do you keep up with the majority language, whilst allowing space for the minority language skills to develop? What should the aim of those skills be and how best to nurture them? How does the minority language parent fit in to the education puzzle, especially if (as in my case) they have no first hand experience of the country's methodology and approach from a pupil perspective?
Outside the school day proper, being in charge of French homework time has its advantages for me. Having spent the last 25 years learning French as a foreign language, it's interesting to get an insiders' perspective on how the French learn their own language - this was how I found out last week that there is a 6th vowel in French: y, relatively basic information that I must have missed at some point. As if this wasn't enough, Puce has generously accepted to help me with her homework; every night I learn a new French letter, its pronunciation and how to write it in cursive script...
Reversing roles and balancing languages...all part of the fun for a bilingual family.