Elective Bi-lingualism

Today’s Bangkok Post carries an article about Thai parents raising their children to be bi-lingual.  It speaks directly to the aspirations of many of the parents here  in the Shrewsbury community.

The article describes one family’s approach to raising their daughter as a bi-lingual Thai/English speaker, despite the fact that both parents are native speakers of Thai, hence the term ‘elective bi-linagualism’.

The father has set up a website and written two books about native speakers of Thai raising bi-lingual children.  หมู่บ้ำเด็กสองภาษา (moo baan dek song pasa) or Bi-lingual Kids’ Village provides help and encouragement to likeminded parents.  The parents of children in your class may find them an interesting read.

Some of the arguments for and against this approach to langauge learning are outlined in the article.  What are your thoughts?  How do you feel this attitude to learning English will affect langauge proficiency among the kinds of children we teach?  How could you as a class teacher harness the positive attitude to the langauge and use it to further develop the proficiency of the students in your class?

Raising bilingual children – Bangkok Post 29.11.11

Moo Baan Dek Song Pasa – website for Thai parents on raising bilingual children

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