Summer time and living is easy… or is it the lovin? I am not sure, I can say that the bloggin’ definitely hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s been non-existent.
Why’s that you wonder? Well for starters, I have been the equivalent of a single mum in Mexico for two months. That’s right, so desperate am I to get my kids to speak Spanish –and to finally master it myself– the girls and I took an epic* trip from Thailand to Mexico.
Once again, I plonk many eggs in the travel/immersion basket. Spanish has been my trilingual family’s Achilles heal. And this trip was meant to be our orthopedic surgery.
I’ll leave the analogy for just a bit. This post is my favorite yearly post when I get to host the multilingual carnival. It’s a small one this month – too many Pims or micheladas in my case – may be keeping bloggers occupied. But as I tell my girls, quality not quantity and the handful of posts we have are stellar. So sit back, get your specs on and enjoy the wealth of language learning advice below!
This month’s multilingual blogging carnival was inspired by the steep pyramid-like hill that is my Spanish journey; I asked contributors to share their biggest multilingual challenge and how they resolved it.
First off, one of my favorite experts Rita Rosenbeck from Multilingual Parenting. She shares her novel approach to breaking down her five-year-old’s resistance to Rita’s attempts at switching languages.
Ute from Expats Since Birth sent in a wonderful 2 part-post on how sometimes we need to change our path when faced with linguistic barriers. It’s short and sweet and gives me hope. Part 1 & Part 2 of Which Language to Choose.
Next up we have Leanna from Frenglish Learning. Leanna has a kid who thinks too much on her hands. I remember hearing about these before I was a parent. I couldn’t help but think that would be a great problem to have. Never tempt fate! I too was blessed with a perfectionist over thinker and it is tough! So how do you help a child who doesn’t want to say a word or sentence unless it is perfect? Leanna shares some wonderful ideas here
I am so grateful Sarah from Bilingual Baby for sharing a post about her own language learning. It’s a real gem from her first experience abroad studying French for a year in France. This post had me laughing out loud.
Our final post isn’t about linguistic hurdle but more a top tip on how to minimize future hurdles. Galina from Trilingual Children shares a post on the importance of speaking to your baby in the languages you want them to acquire. This isn’t to say kids can’t learn languages later but you have an incredible and helpful foundation if you’ve started from day one.
I’ve included it because it really supports the experience we had during this trip. So back to my Spanish Mountain…or steep pyramid. I am now sitting in a LAX airport hotel waiting for my delayed plane to take us back to Thailand and have a bit of time to reflect on our two months in Mexico.
Even though we knew the importance of early exposure, we didn’t manage to sustain it for both kids. J and I were really good about only speaking Spanish and French respectively with sweet P our first daughter. When Little C came along, we were living abroad and J was working much longer hours and French was spoken much less and Spanish nearly non-existent.
Both girls had similar apparent levels of Spanish when we arrived but P started speaking Spanish in a couple of days while C continued to resist, struggle to understand, and essentially revolt every time we dropped her off at school.
I’ll write a post with more details later, but I just wanted to share that even taking into account age and personalities that could affect language learning, it was clear the strong foundations Sweet P received as a baby were a huge advantage and catapulted her to a level of fluency far beyond her sister.
In any event, the trip was an incredible gift. Not only did it permit us deep immersion in a Spanish-speaking environment, it really allowed the girls to know, understand, and connect with their Mexican heritage and their Abuelita!
All Rights Reserved
Thank you again for joining me on this summer time light Carnival. Please don’t forget to put it in your calendar and check out next month’s carnival hosted by Head of the Heard!
For more information on the carnival to host or subscribe please check out The Piri-Piri Lexicon’s carnival page.
*Unless you are Kiwi/Ozzi or from some far-fetched Pacifique isles, in which case my trip was just another day in the park.