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Elena Madden keeps a live journal on multilingualism in children. . She is mostly concerned with the problems and performance of multilingual pupils, both as consultant and mother. This is the main emphasis of her entries.

Topics and Questions for consultation

Often, the same questions are asked again and again at the info meetings and individual sessions. Here are the 16 main topics.

Multilingualism in Germany: special considerations and frequent problems. Mehrsprachigkeit in Deutschland: Besonderheiten und typische Probleme
What language should the parents use in various situations? Welche Sprache sollten die Eltern in verschiedenen Situationen sprechen:

  • with each other? miteinander?
  • in the presence of their childrens German friends? in der Anwesenheit von deutschen Freunden ihrer Kinder?
  • in the presence of adult Germans (friends, acquaintances, other parents, everyday situations)?
  • in the other parent's home country?

Two languages simultaneously or one after the other? When should a second language first be introduced to a child?
Why do some children have such difficulties with a foreign language? What obstacles are there to learning another language?
"My child refuses to speak my language!" "Mein Kind weigert sich, meine Sprache zu sprechen!"
"My child mixes up the languages. Why? What can I do about it?"
Should I correct mistakes or not?
How can you motivate a child to speak the more difficult language in the famly? (Methods and personal experiences of families)
"What and how should I read to a multilingual child?"
The mother's and the father's influence on the child's linguistic development.
Social and psychological problems in raising children with two languages. The question of identity: problems with social adaptation.
Pros and cons of early bilingualism; how to reduce the disadvantages.
When and what language should a multilingual child be taught to read and write first?
Multilingualism and various school concepts and teaching methods and results.
How to find help (contacts to speech therapists, etc.)?
"Does it ever get easier?" (Crises in speech development)

For other topics click here (in the PDF format).

The series of lectures on multilingualism in children.

How it all began... This series of lectures was developed and held in 2005/2006. See description here (in the PDF format).

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