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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.

Bilingual Friends

When you're raising your children in your non-native foreign language, it always helps to have some support from others who are in the same boat. I have two such friends.

The Johnsons
The first is Renee Johnson. We met in college where we were both in grad school together, studying linguistics. Our husbands had both served LDS missions in France and knew each other from their mission days. I was taking linguistic classes with Renee when I first came up with the crazy idea of speaking German to my future children. She loved the idea and was a great support in helping me to think through the logistics. She and her husband also decided to raise their children in a foreign language: French. We have stayed in contact over the years. We published and maintained a popular website dedicated to non-native bilingual parenting for a number of years. I have always been very impressed with Renee's dedication to her children's bilingual education. She is a phenomenal person.

Click below to see Renee's story
The Johnson Family Bilingual Adventure

The Larsons
The second is Kristine Larson. We also met in college, where she was in one of my German classes. As a graduate student, I taught quite a few lower-level German classes. Anyways, fast forward a few years, and Kristine and her husband moved into our neighborhood. I went over to their house to welcome them (not knowing who they were) and when Kristine answered the door, she exclaimed "Frau Shurts!" What a small world. The reason Kristine's bilingual parenting story is SO amazing is because decided to raise her children FRENCH speaking (much to my dismay as her German teacher) even though she hadn't ever studied French. Her husband had served a French speaking mission (2 years) and she decided that they would raise their children French speaking...and the fact that she didn't know French didn't even deter her. She really put her heart and soul into her bilingual parenting efforts.

Click below to see Kristine's story:
The Larson Bilingual Adventure


Paul Shurts said...

I am taking German this next semester at BYU-I. I figured I could use all the help I can get. Glad to see you have this site.

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