August Multicultural Kid Blogs Carnival
I enjoyed the emotional and educational July carnival about Fatherhood: reflexions and feelings hosted by La Cité des Vents. August 2015 Multilingual Blogging Carnival is all about Teaching Languages at School and Home!
Each country has a different approach to teaching foreign languages: some offer them at school early and the classes are high quality, so the kids can truly learn a language there. While other countries do not offer a comprehensive foreign language instruction or it begins at a much older age for the kids. No matter what your school offers, most parents who are trying to raise bilingual or multilingual kids use or look for additional resources to either supplement their kids’ education at home or to create their own curriculum to get the kids to speak another language.
My kids are still young but I started sending them to Russian daycare from a very early age, as I am the only speaker of Russian in the household and it’s our minority language. My oldest daughter also attended some Spanish playdates.
As I look forward to her turning 5 and going to kindergarten next year I fear that her Russian will deteriorate. Unfortunately they do not offer any language education at school here until junior high and even then Russian will not be one of the languages offered. This is a big blow as I am used to the Russian school system where language education begins at a very young age.
In preparation for the next school year I have scoured all the available Russian classes and programs in the area and will need to adjust our schedule to see if I can allow for some private tutoring in Russian. I was excited to discover theatre and art classes in Russian nearby, which will be a great option as it will be killing two birds (Russian and an activity of interest) with one stone. But I know that a lot of schooling in Russian will still have to be done by me at home, so I am already diligently gathering resources to do a good Russian curriculum at home during week nights and weekends.
As kids start heading back to school in many parts of the world I hope this carnival will be a unique collection of both at school and at home efforts to teach a new foreign language or maintain one of the current languages.
No matter what country you live in, there is often a chance to send your kids to an International School. Read Aimee’s (Raising World Citizens) account of her family’s journey of monolingual parents raising bilingual children and choosing a French International School in Chicago for her children’s schooling.
If the idea of a multicultural school is near and dear to your heart, you would love Ayesha’s post (wordsnneedles.com) on choosing the best multicultural school for your childAnnabelle (thepriprilecicon.com) has this post about what to expect from a bilingual kindergarten in Germany.
Frances (discoveringtheworldthroughmysonseyes.blogspot.com) writes about the Middle Schools in Puerto Rico in this post.
If your school does not offer a program, why not create one and introduce it to the school, like Frances (discoveringtheworldthroughmysonseyes.blogspot.com). She created a Spanish Language Summer Program for her son’s preschool summer camp. It was a big hit, and the all of the kids loved it! Especially her son because he was her helper, and it was cool to teach his friends Spanish!
Marianna (bilingualavenue.com) has several podcast episodes that look at the language education at school:
- Episode 49: Dr Lisa Lopez, an education psychologist, chats about how schools can support the unique needs that dual language learners have in the classroom.
- Episode 6: Dr. Ingrid Piller describes the “hallmarks” that make up a good language school. Ex.: appreciates the value of a second language; spends 200 hours of instruction in the minority language a year; incorporates the target language throughout extracurricular activities; has highly qualified educators.
- Episode 2: Ideas for parents on how they can work with their teacher to provide support for their child in the heritage language.
- Episode 65: Berenice Pernalete, a biliteracy instructional guide, at Mundo Verde Public Charter School in Washington, DC talks about bilingual language models, the challenges language teachers face and the amazing rewards the teaching profession can provide.
In this podcast Rita (multilingualparenting.com) and Marianna discuss the topic of bilingual children at school: How to keep them speaking your language? How to prepare your bilingual children for school? What to do if you get a response in the wrong language?
Amanda (marocmama.com) dives into handling a multilingual household in her post.
Teaching a language at home means introducing reading, writing, new vocabulary and creative ways to bring in the languages into the household.
Galina (trilingualchildren.com) writes about Kids Radio.
If you are homeschooling and teaching Spanish to your kids you would also find these resources that Leanna (alldonemonkey.com) compiled.
And Rita (multilingualparenting.com) offers a list of free resources for multilingual families.
No matter if you are using a school or teaching your child at home books will always play a huge part in language-learning.
Elisabeth (spanishmama.com) shares how books could be lifesavers, especially for non-native speakers for practicing the language with the children.
Marianna’s guest post for multilingaulparenting.com reveiwes 6 principles for promoting language development through books.
And a great idea that Anna’s family (multilingualkitchen.org) does is personalized books.
Galina (trilingualchildren.com) has a list of free Audio books for kids.
P.S. Look at some past carnivals for more inspiration on how technology can help and more fun ways for your kids to learn new vocabulary.