25 March 2017

Encouraging Target Language Use Through Our German Home School Days!

In order to help the kids continue to immerse themselves in German, I pull them out of their regular school about one day every week (or once every other week) and home school them in German. Like I've mentioned before, my kids' primary language is slowly switching from German to English. This is inevitable, since we live in the United States, my husband and I are native English speakers, all their friends speak English, and they attend an English-speaking public school. So, naturally, their primary language will eventually be Englsih. In fact, I am quite surprised at how long we were able to keep German as their primary language! They only started increasingly speaking English at home in the past 9 months! It is not my intention to "fight" the English that is creeping into our home, but merely to continue to encourage as much German as possible. I want to give them opportunities where it feels comfortable and natural to speak German (our target language). Our pseudo-German-home-school is one of those opportunities. As we work on German work sheets and read German books, the kids naturally start speaking mostly in German to each other.

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Bilingual Baby Dream Team

Going on 20+ years of raising our bilingual babies...
I'm so grateful for a sweet husband who was willing to give this whole experiment a try and and that he was willing to speak German to our kids, even though his German exposure had been limited to a few semesters of college German. It's been one of the most fun and rewarding things we've done. The fact that our family speaks German has given us our own identity and helps the kids feel like they are a part of something special. And anything that helps your family feel special and connected is a good thing.