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Re: Specifics

From:Lars Henrik Mathiesen <thorinn@...>
Date:Friday, February 9, 2001, 22:00
> Date: Fri, 9 Feb 2001 09:48:55 -0500 > From: Brian Phillips <deepbluehalo@...>
> Your comment is interesting. What's to keep you from (for instance) using > three languages in succession on a three day cycle ?
Nothing. The only question is if very young kids will be able to learn any of the languages like that.
> I am not criticizing your comment, it honestly never occured to me that > you couldn't raise bilingual kids without multiple language exclusive adults > in their vicinity. Is this an accepted linguistic fact amongst the > second-language aquisition folks? If so then it sounds as if "winter in > Beijing, summer in Florida" or a similar unusual living environment would be > neccessary for a single dad...
It's been a while since I read about it --- but I think the point was the each adult should use one language only _when talking to the kids_. What they speak among themselves is not that important, and can change according to context. I can imagine conditions where an adult would vary the language used to the kids according to context --- in the home or outside, for instance, if the home language is stigmatized in local society. But I don't know if any studies have been made about how that affects learning of that home language.
> If bilingual aquisition from a single speaker is a problem...this might > present a problem to home-schooling.
Home schooling happens at a time when the kids first languages are established, and they are able to understand the concept of being taught something --- including discussing one language using another. Up to age two or three, the only effective way of teaching kids anything is by example. As any parent knows.
> And as far as their mother...well ....I'll leave that be for Jorg and the > peace of the list's sake .
Well, you can get an opinion for free here. A one-parent home is an impoverished environment for kids. It happens that parents become alone, and the kids will often survive just fine. But planning for it is to wilfully deprive them of valuable experience and interaction. I'm not saying that you need a romantic pair-bond type of home --- but at least arrange for other adults who take a personal interest in the kids. Kibbutz, commune, collective, live-in grandparents, whatever. Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <thorinn@...> (Humour NOT marked)