speaking languages head of the heard

CC Image by Eliezer Borges

This is part of a series of posts featuring multicultural bloggers who are raising their children speaking two or more languages. Their blogs offer valuable perspective into multilingualism, kids and culture. Stephen Green blogs at The Head of the Heard. He has an excellent collection of posts on his experiences raising a bilingual child.

I write my blog for my mum. She lives in the UK and so has limited contact with her only grandson here in Curitiba, Brazil. She, and my dad, come over to visit about once a year and we go back to the UK every 9 months or so. There are also regular chats on Skype two or three times a week, but it is very hard for her to keep up to date with what her grandson is doing.

The blog, then, started out merely as a way of letting her know what was going on. The first steps, the first words, the first tantrum and the first time we rushed to hospital with a dislocated elbow.

Because I am an English language teacher and teacher trainer I write a lot about his language development and I am fascinated by how a child’s brain can learn two or more languages as easy as it does one. I also write about his cognitive development and chart the milestones he reaches.

But as with all good things, my blog has evolved over the last 10 months. In my mind I am still writing for my mum, but instead of just writing about her grandson I try to write about the context in which he is growing up: Brazilian politics, life in Curitiba, the upcoming World Cup are all serving to shape the development of her grandson, so without this context she would be missing out on something.

While I have been writing to my mum, I am proud to say that a lot of other people have been eavesdropping and seem to have liked what I am producing. This is a bonus, but definitely not what I am aiming at. If I had just one view a day I would keep writing my blog, but those days when I get over 500 do give me a bit of a buzz, I must admit.

And I have learned a hell of a lot as well through writing my blog. I have met inspiring people from all over the world who face similar or totally different problems to the ones I am struggling with. The important thing is not the problem, but the struggle to overcome the problems, and this is what has given me most strength to keep on working at bringing up a bilingual family.

Well that and my mum’s comments under the articles I write.
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