5 thoughts on “Contact me

  1. Hello, I love your blog, and am hoping you can give me some advice. My daughter who is going to be 2, has been hearing me talk to her in Farsi since birth and her father in French, and she goes to an English speaking Day care. (Although she spent the first year of her life with a Mexican Nanny). Now She is starting to talk (mostly in English, while throwing out some French and Farsi words here and there).
    I was just offered a job in Barcelona, and we are considering going there, but I am a bit afraid on how my daughter will adjust, and what language to immerse her in. As you know in Barcelona the common language for daycares, etc is Catalan. So basically my fear is, if we put her in public school she will pick up Catalan and hopefully Spanish, and she will keep up with the french (as my husband and I talk to each other french) but do you think she will simply lose the Farsi and English? Would you recommend putting her in an English or French speaking day care instead?

  2. Hi Layla,
    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I actually posted a long response that appears to have been eaten by the interwebs.

    I think the key is to consider what languages are most important to you, how you use them as a family (both immediate and extended) and at what level of competency or depth of knowledge you hope your daughter has in any given language. These are the sorts of things that I think should drive the choices you and your husband make.

    The rule of thumb I keep in mind is one that I’ve read a few times – though can’t remember where for the life of me – and that is that kids need to hear a language about 30% of the time to end up acquiring it. I can’t speak to the validity of the statement without tracking it down again but I’ve definitely noticed from my own experience, watching the dominance of languages change in our household when my husband (spanish speaker) went from caregiver to working, and I took over – how that definitely affected my daughter’s comprehension.

    There are ways to up the exposure to language – so if you and your husband both speak French, you can speak French to each other while you speak Farsi to her. Since you will be in Spain you may want to consider which is more important to you Spanish and Catalan or English and decide to send her to an english school – I am sure most will have a lot of Spanish and she will get that from her environment. If French is really important to you and you want her to not only speak it but read/write it – then the French Lycee there is probably a good choice.

    My personal choices for my girls have been around heritage vs potential future utility in their life (http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/09/language-for-family-ties-or-competitive-edge/), otherwise I’d be capitalizing on their exposure to Mandarin here much more! You can’t see into the future and know whether she will fall in love with a south american and wish she’d had more Spanish or want a life in diplomacy where Farsi could be extremely useful. That said, with English as the globally accepted lingua franca (and many resources available) I’d probably want to keep that as an active language.

    I hope you find this helpful and good luck with your choices! The most important thing is that you are giving her the gift of languages and the love of languages and in the end she will be better able to learn any language she wishes as a result.

  3. Hi,
    I am happy to find your blog and see that you are homeschooling your kids. I am as well, started last august. Its been quite an experience. I would like to ask you which curriculum you are using for yours. We’ll be doing 4th grade this year. Will be happy to get some tips from you.

    • Hi Sam, Thank you for your kind words. Right now I am mixing a number of different approaches. For me, one of the benefits of homeschooling is being able to cherry pick the approaches to different topics. Some people prefer an all in one but that wouldn’t work for me. I really like Singapore Maths & History of the World. I like the well trained Mind authors (who do history of the world) for Language arts as well. For science, geography I currently create my own materials. And I am just reviewing a great book on incorporating world citizenship intoyour approach so stayed tune!

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