Multilingualism

Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language

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Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.

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Parenting

Dumbing Down Language For Kids

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How should we speak to our children? A question that comes up again and again. Should we use baby talk, words like din-dins for a meal and so on, when they are very small? Should we simplify matters during their childhood and avoid longer words and certain types of vocabulary that we regard as more advanced and therefore more complicated? Is one word enough to convey a meaning, or should we use synonyms? Does dumbing down language for kids help or hinder their development?

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Arts, Literature

You’re Not Alone – Charitable Anthology

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Today we would like to present to you a wonderful project, put together for charitable purposes. The project in question is an anthology of short stories by diverse writers from around the world, who all donated their time and effort to benefit the Macmillan Cancer Support nurses.

We have spoken to Ian Moore, the compiler of the anthology You’re Not Alone.

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Parenting

Dear 13 Year Old Me…

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Have you ever wished that someone had given you really good advice when you were younger? Perhaps you were lucky and had a trendy auntie or the friend of your mum, who sat down and shared some of their wisdom… because we all knew that our parents were so NOT cool, and not to be listened to. (Note to self – make sure there is someone who fits this bill in your daughter’s life in the coming years!)

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice (without totally FREAKING myself out), this is what I’d tell me.

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Food, Simple Tastes

Simple Tastes 5 – Banana Pancakes

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What is better than a plateful of pancakes, on a cold and windy day, to warm the kids up when they come home from school? Asha is back with another #SimpleTastes recipe, and this is one we can’t wait to try out.

I know this series was supposed to be about ideas for weekday dinners, but I couldn’t resist putting this one in. And, to be honest, if you try it, you will see why. So many pancake recipes – and I’m talking about American-style thick pancakes here, not your thin French crepes – seem to involve multiple processes like separating eggs, melting butter and carefully spooning mixture into ring moulds, and, quite frankly, who has time for that, let alone the ensuing washing up? This recipe is simplicity itself, involving little more than forking together a few ingredients in a jug.

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