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About This Blog

This blog is for anyone interested in raising their children in a foreign language--meaning a language which neither of the parents speak natively.
We have used the approach where both parents speak the target foreign language (in our case, German) to the children. Neither of us is a native German speaker, yet we have spoken German in our home for the past 20 years and have 8 German speaking children. In this blog, we hope to share our successes, our lessons learned and a few of the insights that we've gained along the way.

Say it in German, mommy!

This is a video of my oldest son, Ben. This is back in 1995 and Ben was only 2. Because he was our oldest, he really was the linguistic guinea pig. Ben spoke only German and we started to be a little concerned that maybe his English would suffer. We were living in Texas at the time and I started calling around to the 'experts'. I talked to one linguist, in particular, who told me that my children's English would suffer and that they would learn neither English nor German nataively. She made me nervous enough, that we tried speaking more English to Ben for a while.

Here in this video, you can see me narrating in English. When I ask Ben a question in English, he gets annoyed and says something like "nur deutsch sagen". ("say german"). He really preferred to speak in German and didn't like it when we switched to English. German was his language and he felt much more comfortable with it. We didn't keep up the English very long, as I realized that I shouldn't change our whole approach just because one "expert" had an opposing opinion.
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I'd love to hear from you! Do you speak a foreign language? Do you have questions or comments? I'd love to hear them. Thanks!


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