Problems of bilingualism (for example, Russian-Danish children)

Problems of bilingualism (for example, Russian-Danish children)

A regular meeting on interests within the framework of the project “Clever Monday” was held on the 14th of May, 2012. The meeting was opened by Kirsten Fisher, a specialist in the field of education. Kirsten described the childhood bilingualism, pointing out that every child has the inner ability to comprehend the  language and moreover, several languages simultaneously.

Among the most important elements in the linguistic development of the child she pointed out:

— the agreement between the parents on the question of what languages will the child be talking (this decision should be taken before the birth of the child)

-the lack of a “competition” between languages in the family: parents should not aim to present one of the languages a more significant and as a priority.

-positive (!) linguistic contact of the child with the surrounding

— understanding that language evolves slowly, throughout a person’s life

— understanding that knowledge of different languages has its own peculiarities and nuances

A number of components to be taken into account in the child’s upbringing-bi/polylingualism:

— presence in Denmark is quite sustainable monolinguistic language model

-there is a need of serious  work from parents, especially concerning the language development of young children

-the reluctance of some children, to speak the language of the parent-“foreigner”

-excessive concern  about “language mixing”: children automatically use their speech ability

-lack of understanding and the encouragement from the stuff of preschool or school, regarding child’s bilingualism. Parents, please, insist on understanding!

-child’s need in language development and stimulation. This also applies to the native language of the parent-“foreigner” and  Danish language. The development of the qualitative level requires meaningful and serious contribution of parents.

The following arguments speak in favor of bilingual education of children:

-proficiency in two or more languages extends a person’s life choices

-bilingualism is working, inter alia, on the development of cognitive abilities, intelligence and flexibility of thinking

– bilingualism contributes to the development of communication in the family-between parents and children, between grandparents and  between friends

— development of one language has a positive effect on the development of another language.

A language is primarily a tool of communication with the outside world. Even before the birth of the child and on the first day of his life, language is woven directly into all spheres of human development-sensual, social, mental …

“Bilingualism, multilingualism is a gift for a baby for life”,-concluded Kirsten Fisher. It is also recommended to read the below-mentioned books:

Isager, Mette og Mygind Jørgen. Spørgsmål om sprog: Information til 2-sprogede børns forældre.

Holmen, Anne og Normann Jørgensen J. Tosprogede børn i Danmark: en grundborg. Hans Reitzels Forlag, 1993

Klausen Lis og Hodal Gry. Styrk dit barns sprog: 0-3 år. Dafolo2008. Der findes også yderligere udgave om fra 3-6 år og 6-9 år.

After concluding of the first part of our conversation, held in Danish, we continued the discussion in Russian.

Lily Khayrullin’s words, spoke about her experience of upbringing bilingual children. Her daughter and son speak Danish, and Russian. She was sure that the constant work of parents with children, based on love and patience always yields positive results. According to Lily, the trips to the homeland of the “parent foreigner” and diving into linguistic surrounding help to learn a language quickly.

Leila Hjort, a teacher in “Russian House” (Valby), which offers a variety of training and educational classes for Russian-speaking children, briefly talked about work at home. She also shared her thoughts on the education of children. For example, she suggested that reading Russian literature to a child should not be oversimplified.  “Let the children hear and learn the language in all its diversity and completeness” — according to her opinion.

One participant of our meeting Julia Cherepanova advised the following books related to the topic of our conversation:

Елена Маден.  Наши трехъязычныем дети ( Our trilingual children).

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children.

The meeting ended with a general discussion and the exchange of experiences.

 

2 Comments

  1. Det kan give en stor fordel og endnu mere – forspring – i barnets udvikling, hvis barnet lærer at beherske sit modersmål både mundtligt og skriftligt.
    Min søn var 3 år gammel, da vi havnede i Danmark. I børnehaveklassealderen begyndte vi med at vise ham det russiske alfabet og han begyndte med at læse på russisk. Da det kom tiden til at lære det danske ( i 1.klasse), var det ikke noget problemer for sønnen, fordi han allerede havde fornemmelse af, hvordan bogstaverne kan kobles sammen, hvordan det var – at læse.
    Han var eneste i sin 9. klasse, som fik 13 for diktat. I dansk. Og han var en af de to elever, som fik højeste karakterer i mundtlig dansk. Han kan stadigvæk læse og skrive på russisk, ikke fejlfrit, men godt nok. Ovenpå kom der engelsk og spansk.
    Jo flere sprog, jo bedre. Det er simpelthen en gave at kunne sit modersmål.

  2. Min søn er 8 år og snakker kun en sprog, og det er dansk. Det giver nogen problemer når han skal kommunikere med min russisktalende familie. Men sådan er det. Min datter er 18, hun snakkede russisk de første 6 år af sit liv, startede at snakke engelsk da vi flyttede sammen med min mand, og efter 4 år på engelsk flyttede vi til Danmark. Hun var 11. Nu snakker hun dansk, læser på engelsk, og prøve at ikke glemme russisk. Men hun glemmer det alligevel, selvom vi brugt masse af tid til russiske timer her i Danmark.

    Jeg synes det er dejligt hvis barn kan snakke mange sprog. Men jeg synes ikke at det er et katastrofe, hvis barn snakke kun et sprog;=)

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