Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language

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. Hi, Millie and thank you for joining me to discuss this topic. Do you think it’s possible to bring up a child in a non-native language?   I think it is possible, but that many parents don’t realise how much work it is going to be. It’s a lot when it is your own language and you are pretty dedicated, like me. Admittedly, I am teaching mine Italian, but as a foreign language, through … Continue reading Bringing up a Child in a Non-Native Language