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Thread: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

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    Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    My situation is that both my wife and I are bilingual. At home (and outside at times) we flow unconciously from Thai to English and back again. Just to add another twist we live in Japan so she gets that from her playgroup and people on the street. In less than a year we are heading back to OZ.

    What are others situ? Please any experience or points of view.
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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    My wife is trilingual with Thai English and Chinese. I am sadly shit at languages. I came up with a plan that worked involving only one language for almost 5 years. It worked the kids are bilingual and approaching decent Mandarin as well. If you would like more information please feel free to pm as I have posted my approach a few times before and dont want to go on.

    As every poster who has met my kids can tell you the plan worked. Is it for all? No, not at all, it took a lot of work and time. Feeling were hurts et al. . But the result is everybody on both sides of the family is ecstatic now.

    My inability can be chalked up to laziness in reality. As my dad was bilingual and could read and write Arabic as well as speaking it fluently.
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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    I will be honest here. I was raised quad lingual and for me it was not the best situation when I was a toddler, for my sister it seemed very easy.

    As I got older I was diagnosed with dyslexia as well which made it harder.

    What I am saying is that you need to look at your child first before making a decision.

    We have made the decision to go for Thai first, then English (we are doing this now)
    Once my son is about six he will have to start to learn other languages as well.

    This is actually one of the reasons not to stay in Thailand as I don't see a lot of opportunities for language acquisition.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    I don't know what the experts say but personally I think it's better to learn one language well than two or more not so well. The trend with bi-lingual schools in Thailand is not good, IMO. Students learn Science, etc. in English and certainly don't learn as much as students who study it in Thai at a comparable Thai school.

    For Thai kids I'd think that studying at an international school where Thai might be taught as a second language (if the parents plan to live abroad) or just learning English as a second language at school is better.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Thank you gentlemen.
    A question, how important was location to your choice of primary language?

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Not so important for me as I had to speak all languages all the time with the family and friends. School was important though.

    I do think that for me the attitude of some countries regarding language acquisition was far more important.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    I simply wanted English as the first language. I thought the Thai would come easy as we live in Thailand. The theory worked.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Farangrakthai View Post
    I don't know what the experts say but personally I think it's better to learn one language well than two or more not so well. The trend with bi-lingual schools in Thailand is not good, IMO. Students learn Science, etc. in English and certainly don't learn as much as students who study it in Thai at a comparable Thai school.

    For Thai kids I'd think that studying at an international school where Thai might be taught as a second language (if the parents plan to live abroad) or just learning English as a second language at school is better.
    Ignorant American--my kid learned two and is doing well---
    Last edited by Jon; 15th July 2008 at 16:10.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottbula View Post
    Ignorant American--my kid learned two and is doing well---
    hey, it's just my opinion, dude about bilingual schools not bilingual parents.






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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    someone came out of the woodwork for some fun today...

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Quote Originally Posted by markle View Post
    My situation is that both my wife and I are bilingual. At home (and outside at times) we flow unconciously from Thai to English and back again. Just to add another twist we live in Japan so she gets that from her playgroup and people on the street. In less than a year we are heading back to OZ.

    What are others situ? Please any experience or points of view.
    My opinion on this is that the parents have to be consistent in which language you choose to talk to your kid, Father speaks English, Mother speaks Thai to the kid, in school people speak Japanese to the kid, and not have mother speak Thai, English and maybe some Japanes to the kid and same for the Father.

    Choose one language (each) to speak to your child and he/she will learn to separate them, I'm sure your child will mix it up sometimes (especially in the beginning) personally I think raising kids bilingual is very good for children I think it even makes them smarter.(I read somewhere)

    Quote Originally Posted by Farangrakthai View Post
    I don't know what the experts say but personally I think it's better to learn one language well than two or more not so well.
    sure but what about learning two languages well, or one well and the other just a bit less, just because you're learning more languages at the same time doesn't mean you have to divide your ability in mastering a language over the number of languages you are learning, does it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farangrakthai View Post
    The trend with bi-lingual schools in Thailand is not good, IMO. Students learn Science, etc. in English and certainly don't learn as much as students who study it in Thai at a comparable Thai school.
    yea but that's because their English ability sucks, hence the fact they don't get half (or 99% sometimes) of what is being taught, nothing to do with raising kids bilingual, you're comparing apples with oranges here IMO.
    Last edited by Jon; 15th July 2008 at 16:11.
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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    Quote Originally Posted by kikiat View Post
    My opinion on this is that the parents have to be consistent in which language you choose to talk to your kid, Father speaks English, Mother speaks Thai to the kid, in school people speak Japanese to the kid, and not have mother speak Thai, English and maybe some Japanes to the kid and same for the Father.

    Choose one language (each) to speak to your child and he/she will learn to separate them, I'm sure your child will mix it up sometimes (especially in the beginning) personally I think raising kids bilingual is very good for children I think it even makes them smarter.(I read somewhere)
    My only concern with the above method, which is not without merit, is that it's not a natural situation. Mother and I speak each other's languages well enough that we comunicate in both English and Thai without effort or forethought. (On a side note, I am aware of the possiblity of our kid picking up my imperfect Thai and/or her Mum's imperfect English) So what do we speak to each other in front of her? Anyhow I spent years hiding my Thai ability at school in order to force students to communicate in English, it was a pain in the arse at work I can imagine it 24/7. Also it does set up the possibility that Daddies speak English and Mummies speak Thai kind of scenario.



    [/QUOTE]sure but what about learning two languages well, or one well and the other just a bit less, just because you're learning more languages at the same time doesn't mean you have to divide your ability in mastering a language over the number of languages you are learning, does it?[/QUOTE]
    Here I concur, I actually want the munchkin to be literate in both languages, and a couple more.


    Thanks to all contributions it has been very interesting and I hope some others have got something from this.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    I would really like to talk to you about this. If you would pm me.

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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    ^feel free to sit on my new dentist chair anytime mon ami
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    Re: Raising kids bilingual, views and experience

    ya got stirrups bd?

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