Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Trilingualism at its best: interview with a linguist

I had the pleasure to interview Jean-Marc Dewaele, a UK based Belgian linguist with a successfully raised 9 years-old trilingual daughter, and learn a little more on trilingualism. It’s published on the May (and first!) issue of Multilingual Living.


Alice in Austria said...

The interview is truly awesome! I also read his study and was pleased to find it very 'approachable' - that's probably the wrong word - but I mean that it's not so full with academic/technical language as scholarly articles usually are - which I find off-putting sometimes. I hope you decide to write another article/interview on him again some time in the future!! :)

giovanni said...

I like the blue belt in karate and the testing of a hypothesis. Must be difficult to keep her fluent in Dutch in an English speaking environment.
Un abrazo

Anonymous said...

an interesting link about the importance of the native language. In french !!!!

Anonymous said...

Un livre en français vient de sortir
avec un chapitre sur le multilinguisme, où l'étude de Dewaele est citée:

" Le défi des enfants bilingues: grandir et vivre en parlant plusieurs langues", édit. la Découverte

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a native English living in Barcelona. My husband is Spanish and our son, now 3 years old goes to a Catalan speaking nursery and will continue pre school in mostly catalan and spanish environment. I speak to my son in English, except is situations when spanish people are present (pretty hard to avoid in Spain) and my husband speaks to him in Spanish. At school he learns catalan. My concern is that he completely understands english but hesitates alot to speak and only manages a few words. His vocabulary in Spanish and Catalan is pretty advanced and it breaks my heart that he wont speak to his mummy in English. We have looked at english schools but they are private and incredibly expensive...Am I being too hard on him?

Anonymous said...

I think he's too young to make you worry. I am a Majorcan woman who never spoke Majorcan to anybody for at least my first 16 years of age. Nowadays I speak Majorcan (a variation of Català) at work, with friends... The most important thing is that I learnt it with hearing my mum speak to her brothers and her parents when I was a child. I think you should keep on talking to him in English so he learns it and in due time he'll answer in English as well. I'm sure he'll be trilingual eventually, although he should be doing some reading in English when he is old enough to get the formal-written English as well (school English is never enough).
My opinion, of course.Good luck!