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Воспитание детей билингвистов. Различные методы достижения успеха.

Кристина Бусмарк, основатель сообщества детей билингвистов.

Как говорится, существует много способов добиваться своего, следовательно имеется огромное число стратегий воспитания детей билингвистов. Среди всех вариантов -одно остается неизменный-это любовь детей к предсказуемости.. Вы когда-либо замечали как дети плохо переносят изменения и как они расцветают, когда у них под ногами твердая почва. Если вы читали одну и ту же историю каждую ночь на протяжении двух месяцев, вы знаете о чем я. Безусловно, дети учат языки в разных самых беспорядочных условиях. Просто посмотри на обычную сцену за обеденным столом, но некоторая предсказуемость внутри хаоса обеспечивает защиту и безопасность, которые в свою очередь способствуют обучению.

Большинство многоязычных семей обнаружили, что фиксированная система языка в доме значительно сокращает случаи, когда дети смешивают два языка или вообще отказываются говорить на втором языке. Один родитель замечательно высказался: "Я заметил, что когда она переполнена эмоциями, она перестает замечать все вокруг. Я полагаю, что это для маленького ребенка защитный механизм против избыточной информационной нагрузки. Киз ван дер Лан добавил: "Я действительно не хочу, чтобы она не обращала внимания на мой голландский, поэтому я согласен с женой на языковые комбинации, с которыми мы можем жить, и в то же время они будут простыми для Анны. Я считаю, что согласованность это,в конечном счете, намного важнее, чем какая-то система, которую мы используем. Для выбора системы, вы должны подумать, что совершенно подойдет для вашей семьи, но вот два самый популярных метода.

  1. One Person, One Language (OPOL) is the most common family language system in use. For instance, Kees speaks his native Dutch, while his wife speaks English. Each parent or caregiver consistently speaks only one language to the child. Sometimes OPOL requires extra "language supplements," such as playgroups, visits from family, a trip to the country, or a native speaking nanny or au-pair. It helps tremendously for your child to hear that his parent isn't the only one who speaks this language. Kids are savvy little creatures who are quite capable of reasoning that they don't really need to know a language if it is only spoken by one other person.
  2. A second option, slightly less common but tremendously successful is Minority Language at Home (ML@H). It simply means that everyone speaks the minority language at home, even if this language is not the native language of both parents. It is probably the most reliable method for raising truly native speaking children since it ensures consistent interaction from birth until the child leaves home. However, the ML@H parent has to be able to quell doubts and stay the course unwaveringly. When your child isn't speaking the community language on the same level as his or her monolingual peers (generally the ML@H child doesn't reach parity with them until around 5 years of age), it's difficult not to worry. The McColloughs in Germany remember "We were watching other children jabbering away in complete German sentences, while Patrick seemed incapable of getting out two or three connected words." Within months after starting preschool, however, he had transformed completely. "Now he can't stop talking in either language." Even when you know that your child is going to catch up, it can be daunting to watch him struggle. Some parents fear that he will never learn the primary language, even though this really only occurs when children are isolated from the primary language within a minority speaking community.
  3. Frankly, any pattern that works for your family and provides enough interaction in the second language is fine. Examples of such variations are: (1) one language is spoken every day, the other on extended vacations to another country; (2) one language is spoken in a certain location (e.g. if the children attend an immersion program), the other at home.

As you can see, the raising of multilingual children is a flexible and highly personal process, so just adapt the basic language systems to something that fits your lifestyle. Even the most highly-trained athlete couldn't finish a marathon in ill-fitting shoes, and all your training won't help if you aren't settled comfortably for the long haul. Remember, it isn't all on you; you can find an immersion program, call upon grandparents, organize playgroups and schedule frequent visits to your country -- good for junior's language, but just as helpful and fun for you.

But, what if you feel that your child still isn't getting enough language exposure? How do you motivate him to speak your language back to you? What if you find yourself letting the language system to slip to the wayside? In short, what do you do when you see signs of your carefully laid plans getting derailed? This is the topic for the next article in this series: Raising Bilingual Children: 10 Tips for Boosting The Minority Language.

About the author:

Christina Bosemark is the founder of the Multilingual Children's Association, your web-guide to raising bilingual children with expert advice, parent discussions, resource directory and articles. She is also mother of two trilingual daughters and co-founder of the Scandinavian immersion school in San Francisco.

Other articles in this series

Links to websites with information and advice about raising bilingual/multilingual children

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