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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.

My Little German Babies are starting to become more American...

It happened this summer! I always knew it would happen. I didn't even expect it to last this long. In fact, I've been quite amazed that it has lasted as long as it has. What has happened? Well, my kids are starting to talk to each other in English! Yes, my babies are slowly switching from German to English. They still can and do speak German very often. The biggest change, and this is the same change I saw in my older kids, is that they are starting to use much more English with each other. They still speak to me in German and I still speak to them in German, but among themselves, they are speaking more English. To me, that is a very telling sign that their primary language is slowly switching from German to English.

I knew that their primary language would switch to English. Eventually, it just has to. These kids live in an English speaking society and all attend an English speaking school together. They also have siblings and parents whose native language is English and who speak English to each other. The fact, that the three little ones have been speaking only German to each other for this long is actually quite amazing.

My plan is to continue speaking to them in German.I will also continue to encourage them to use German with each other, although I won't get too bent out of shape when they use English. We will continue to watch German movies and read German books. We'll also continue with our part-time German homeschooling. We have many German routines which will not change, even as their primary language changes. I know this because when my older children switched from German to English, the German routines remained, such as bedtime stories in German, family prayers in German, etc.


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