I am trying to teach my youngest child three languages. I am determined to make it work, even if I only speak one perfectly. I am making a conscious decision to do something that is almost as awful as pulling teeth (in my opinion). I am determined to force myself to come out of my comfort zone, even if it means being laughed at; yes, it happens sometimes. My attempts to teach my young child English, Arabic and French were inevitably a disaster waiting to happen, except that it happened right away. It is a deliberate act of madness on my part, and I hope that my son makes it out alive.
Here’s a little background on my adventures. I have always been a passive bilingual. In my case, I understand spoken French (mostly), I understand written French (greatly), and I can speak some French. The problem is, as the years go by, my linguistic ability coupled with my self-confidence dwindles. And boy is it ever complicated! Along with my love for French, I found it necessary to study and learn Arabic – I married an Arabic speaker. Sure, he speaks English, but my mother-in-law doesn’t speak more than ten words of English.
Learning a new language in your late 20’s is something different. I have always respected immigrants who move to new countries and learn the language (through no choice of their own of course), but now I respect them ten-fold. (more…)