Updated: Thoughts on ‘what type of multilingual parent are you?’…

I’ve talked before about our family’s cultural settings – husband and wife coming from different (but not exclusive) cultures/languages, raising our 3 TCKs, all now 7 years of age, and under; as well as presented thoughts on the Creative Flow of a TCK. This past April, AFSA hosted a panel discussion on emotional resilience in third-culture kids (TCKs) with a particular focus on the Foreign Service experience, during the first week of April. Experts on the issue of TCKs are expected to discuss the issue, taking questions from the audience – too bad we´re a bit far from DC, but we´re looking forward to reading about the discussion. The main question under discussion will be why some kids adapt very well to life in the Foreign Service while others struggle [check the AFSA website for more information].

“Are you curious?”  We are!

Blog Hop: I’ve talked before about our family’s cultural settings – husband and wife coming from different (but not exclusive) cultures/languages, raising our 3 TCKs, all now 7 years of age, and under; as well as presented thoughts on the Creative Flow of a TCK. This past April, AFSA hosted a panel discussion on emotional resilience in third-culture kids (TCKs) with a particular focus on the Foreign Service experience, during the first week of April. Experts on the issue of TCKs are expected to discuss the issue, taking questions from the audience – too bad we´re a bit far from DC, but we´re looking forward to reading about the discussion. The main question under discussion will be why some kids adapt very well to life in the Foreign Service while others struggle [check the AFSA website for more information].

Phonics & Math: let’s get the family together to help!

From my/our end, we are trying to do our part of the challenging task that is raising worldy third-culture children. And we´re doing it through language. It’s already known that speaking several languages fluently increases job opportunities, makes international travel easier, and enables you to communicate with a lot more people a lot more easily. There are various theories on how to best raise multilingual kids. “One parent, one language” (OPOL for short) is popular, and to some extent that is what we’re doing in our family.

One thing we’ve learned about raising TCKs: reading is a magic tool!

We’ve found out we’re “moderate” multilingual parents… At least, that’s how we tested, according to the Multilingual Living Quiz. Which is the best “group of multilingual parents”? Hard to say, they’re all different, and unique in their own way. There’s no magic formula when it comes to raising children in a multicultural setting. I’m always talking about our multilingual household, the challenges of trying to keep up with Spanish, Portuguese and English, while assisting our 1st grader on his (now!) English homework assignments, as well as with his homeschooling English/Spanish tasks! [Note: our son had started first grade in Brazil, last February, attending a Brazilian Montessori School, and had English classes three times a week. We moved to our current post, La Paz, Bolivia, in August, so, he could begin the American School year, as a first grader…] And our oldest child is just one of the examples: there two more on the line – his younger sisters (now aged 4,5 and almost 2) are a lively part of this multilingual/multicultural environment….

Looking for “help” from flashcards, when it comes to linking the sounds to the words!

Challenging, but exciting. And we’re very satisfied with the outcome: our oldest children are capable of communicating with both sets of grandparents, watching bilingual TV, having play dates both in English and Portuguese, and, offer very positive feedback to their dad when talked to/read to in Spanish. 😮 Recently, I stumbled upon a great quote, about the experience of raising bi/multilingual children: “raising multilingual children is an adventure you share together – one that is a lot of fun, but for which you will need quite a lot of patience. Sometimes, linguistic development will not progress in the way you hoped. That is fine, and everything will eventually work itself out. Sharing my language with my children has been about sharing my heritage more than anything else. It might be difficult at times, but it is a gift that will last a lifetime“. Couldn’t agree more! 😮 

Remembering bed time stories: from mom, in Portuguese… From dad, in English!

Helping our oldest children with their homework in Portuguese, having them practice English phonics with their native-speaker father, seeing the children have routine conversations with their dad in Spanish and English; and reading bed time stories in … who knows what!

We’ve been very fortunate regarding the kids school back in Brazil (they get both Portuguese and English), and we were thankful for the opportunity to use the educational allowance for homeschooling our 1st grader when it came to supplement his English language.

All in all, it’s working, and we’re pleased with the current results. Based on the explanation for each “group of multilingual parenting styles”, the Moderate Parent has found the golden middle way of bilingual parenting. Well-informed about bilingual issues yet know that ultimately they have to make your own rules and decisions that suit your family the best. Have a healthy dose of commitment towards your bilingual endeavour, a reasonable amount of self-confidence in what you are doing, and have no problem in bending the rules when necessary and when it’s in your family’s best interest. the “moderate parents” have chosen a model, are committed to it, and don’t give up easily when troubles arise. Acquainted with worries and problems but can ride through rough times by getting the right support from certain experts, their online group and other bilingual parents.

[Test originally published in Multilingual Living Magazine]

After all that, now it’s your turn to answer: “What type of multilingual parent do you think you are?” Take the quiz and find out! Here are examples of the questions:

“When you are on the playground with your child, you…”

“When your child speaks to you in the “wrong” language, you…”

“When it comes to literature on bilingualism, you…”

“Your reaction to the word “OPOL” is…”

“Your aim is for your child is…”

And there are many more questions/concerns/curiosities… Take your time to check it out!

So, how do you think you did?

Click Here to calculate your score and find out the results! We had a lot of fun (and learned a lot!) doing this little exercise! 😮 thanks for coming along!

Travel Theme: Foliage – Is it Spring or Fall over here?

Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” brought this week’s suggestion: “It’s getting all autumnal up here in the northern hemisphere, while down in the southern hemisphere everyone’s looking forward to spring. Whichever hemisphere you inhabit, now is a fantastic time to get out and have a look at what the trees are doing. Whether they’re about to burst into life with fresh green growth, or starting to adorn themselves in their autumn glory; even if they’re still wearing their evergreen needles, it’s a wonderful time to go leaf peeping!”

For us, Spring just started. But we’re in La Paz, Bolivia, so, the colors, the textures, the feelings, very much bring us back to Fall – what a fantastic experience!

Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” brought this week’s suggestion: “It’s getting all autumnal up here in the northern hemisphere, while down in the southern hemisphere everyone’s looking forward to spring. Whichever hemisphere you inhabit, now is a fantastic time to get out and have a look at what the trees are doing. Whether they’re about to burst into life with fresh green growth, or starting to adorn themselves in their autumn glory; even if they’re still wearing their evergreen needles, it’s a wonderful time to go leaf peeping!”

For us, Spring just started. But we’re in La Paz, Bolivia, so, the colors, the textures, the feelings, very much bring us back to Autumn – what a fantastic experience! Sharing here, images from a local park in La Paz, from a road trip to Mecapaca or simply, a snapshot from my front yard. Enjoy!

Travel Theme: Red.

 


According to Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” “Red is a terribly versatile colour. It can indicate both anger and love; danger and celebration. You can paint the town red, roll out the red carpet or have a red letter day. I’ve been seeing red recently – southern Utah will do that to you. Everywhere you look there is red rock and red sand. There are even red mountain ranges. Here are a few of the red landscapes that caught my eye.”

Traveling is also made of colors… Let’s see what ‘kinds’ of “RED” we’re able to come up with, for this week’s travel theme…

Red sunset, at the Kruger Park, South Africa.
Red Double-Decker, Oxford, England.
Red “Happy Birthday” in Portuguese!
Red candles at an Indonesian Temple.
Door to a Dutch Fort in NE Brazil.
Art Fair in La Paz, Bolivia
“Kids in Red”, Delaware, USA.

My appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮

Travel Theme: Curves.

Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” asked this week’s question: “Are you ready to show off your curves?” Sometimes, the best way to see and ‘feel the curves’ while traveling, is not actually by road… what about by plane? Definitely, a different experience!

“Curving over’ the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, South AmericaMy appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them – according to this week’s challenge, from the Daily Post, in Wordpress.

According to Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?”: It fascinates me how a silhouette; a two-dimensional outline of a person or object, can suggest a story just as clearly as if you could see the scene in its entirety. Perhaps it makes our imagination work overtime, trying to fill in the details we cannot see.”

SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them – according to this week’s challenge, from the Daily Post, in WordPress

According to Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?”: It fascinates me how a silhouette; a two-dimensional outline of a person or object, can suggest a story just as clearly as if you could see the scene in its entirety. Perhaps it makes our imagination work overtime, trying to fill in the details we cannot see.”

Our family arrived at our new assignment less than 3 months ago, as many of you may know by now: 2012 marks the move to our first Spanish speaking post: La Paz, Bolivia. The ‘model’ for this photograph is our oldest son, and adventurous and curious boy, pictured against our view through the backyard. The idea of the ‘unknown’ is, at the same time, scary and intriguing… The silhouette against the beautiful mountain scenario tries to represent that – even though we’re not totally sure about what’s ahead of us, we can still enjoy the little bit of beauty that our eyes are able to catch… we’ll be writing our stories and tales in different ways now… This particular blogpost represents the transition that’s waiting for us – my appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮

Date Night & Thai Cuisine in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

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Lily Thai opens 6 days a week for lunch and dinner, closed on Mondays, at this time of the year. They have great specials, and it is very affordable.

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Chef and Owner Lily Thamibutra worked at her sister’s restaurant, Seaside Thai (now closed for good), for 5 years before venturing out to create Lily Thai.  It’s located on First Street, right next to the original Nicola’s, where Dos Locos used to be many (many) years ago. They have (finally!) acquired their liquor license, so no more BYOB. Pony up for a nice cold beer or some wine. In spite of how long it took to get the nod for booze, Lily’s has already earned a reputation for authentic Thai food served up in pleasing, if not austere surroundings.

The signature dishes are the Pad Thai (with chicken or shrimp) and the Tom Yum soup (chicken or shrimp with lemon grass and cilantro). .

Travel Theme: Secret Places

Every time we feel sad, lost, or a bit scared of the ‘unknown’, I tend to go find ‘shelter’ and comfort among some of our dear pictures, our memories from previous postings, and this brings me back to a more ‘stable’ self… Anyway, this week’s been bittersweet… Last days of school for our children, a few days left in country… so much to do, people we’d like to see/visit again… so little time… Moving is not easy, and this week, a little ‘less easy than usual’… This blogpost represents the transition that’s waiting for us – my appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮

African Bath

Our family is also getting ready for our new assignment: 2012 marks the move to our first Spanish speaking post: La Paz, Bolivia. Our household will formally have 3 languages… we’ll be writing our stories and tales in different ways now… Hope it’s appreciated… 😮