Recent Posts

August 14, 2007

PBN- The Bilingual Edge

Parent Bloggers Network

Growing up in a Mixed Language Family was fun and special. It should have made it easier to become fluent in French, but it didn’t. While curious and full of questions as a young child my family wasn’t as receptive. It was English only. My parents suffered through a state mandate of English only growing up and were reluctant to have their child go through what they did. So I learned French in High School. And it was very bad. When it came time, I no longer cared and in fact, rebelled against it. Add on the fact that I didn’t want to mispronounce one word in front of my family I just gave up all together and plodded through five years of French painfully. Reading the ‘Bilingual Edge’, by Kendall King, Ph.D. and Alison Mackey, Ph.D., opened my eyes to what happened to my language skills and how to fix it so that the process will be easier for my daughter.

I found the ‘Bilingual Edge’ incredibly comprehensive. Every question I had about teaching my child another language was answered. “Is she too young?” She’s eighteen months. “Will she be confused?” No. “What language do we choose?” An easy to follow guide and questionnaire has us choosing, why French of course! There are so many avenues and ways in which to teach another language that I did not know about or consider. The book clearly lays them out in a logical, well thought way. I love the fact that I can refer to the detailed reference section and really find what works best for our family. The more I read the more engrossed I became. I am now more aware of how my daughter interacts and communicates with us and others, as well as how receptive her personality is to learning a new language.
Before reading ‘The Bilingual Edge’ I knew I wanted my daughter to learn another language, or five, but I had no idea where to begin. I found myself incredibly confused, frustrated and futile. I even put off reading this book for fear that it would throw me off more. I’m so glad I did read it because it has not only clarified my questions but started in-depth discussions with my family and husband about which language we are choosing, why and how we will now go about it. It’s like the weight, from my extreme parenting, has been taken away. I’m a planner and my inner organizational freak now has a plan for her present age, her future development with French, and reasoning behind it. The book gave me a lot to chew on and think about in terms of my own feelings about learning another language and re-emphasized how important it is to me to pass on this part of our family’s heritage and use it every day. It is something special once again and now no longer something I’m afraid to use. Just like the book says, children have an easier time making mistakes while learning to talk; I will re-learn French along with my daughter and not be afraid of messing up.

I would strongly recommend this book (found on Amazon) to anyone who is seriously thinking about having their child learn another language. The knowledge I have gained from this book is invaluable to me and my daughter’s future.

* This review has been brought to you by PBN. Check out their site for more information and other reviews on The Bilingual Edge and other great products.