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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.

Long Distance Target Language Relationships

With half the kids grown up and moved out, it always makes me so happy when I see the older kids interacting with their siblings who are still at home via phone, skype, and text--especially when that interaction is in our target language: German. This afternoon, I caught Simon on the phone with his older sisters Kiana and Michaela. One of the reasons I recorded the conversation is because I thought it was interesting how the older kids still speak only German to their younger siblings. Yes, English often creeps into the conversation (as it did in this recording), but usually the kids return to German.
I feel like we're at the point of maintaining our German to the best of our ability. The little kids have switched to speaking more English with each other, but they definitely still communicate in German as well. The older kids almost always speak only German to the little ones and the little ones respond in German. Because the younger kids have always only spoken German to their older siblings, it's much easier to maintain the target language in that relationship. I know that, eventually, they will switch to English. But for now, I'm grateful that they are willing to continue speaking German to each other. It's great practice for the older kids as well as the younger ones!

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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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