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Bilingualism – Different goals for different Families Blog

Language and Bilingualism

Bilingualism – Different goals for different Families

At Deutsches Haus at NYU, we offer classes for bilingual children, and we only ask that the child speaks German daily with a family member, caretaker etc.

While the classes are held in German, the proficiency of the students can be vastly different. Some children can understand and participate without speaking German, while others communicate and read and write in German.

Their families have different reasons to choose raising children with two languages, and even the term “bilingual” can have different meanings for different families. For some, having the ability to listen in two languages but speak in just one may constitute bilingualism, while other parents expect their children not only to speak, but also be literate in both languages. Depending on those definitions, parents put more or less importance and effort into their child’s bilingual development.

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What’s your definition of bilingualism?

What’s your definition of bilingualism?

When I moved from Germany to NYC, I started to work as a German teacher for children, and became curious about bilingualism and bilinguals.

I spoke English in my everyday life, and German to the families I was working with, and to my relatives and friends at home, but I never labeled myself bilingual.

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Library in Upper West Side

Nachdem ich bisher nur über die Bücherei in der 42. Straße berichtet habe, möchte ich nur kurz ein Update geben über meine neuesten Erfahrungen in anderen Ablegern der Bücherei. Letzte Woche war ich nämlich in der Bücherei an der 67. Straße und Amsterdam Avenue … und war total begeistert. Die Abeilung für Kinderbücher ist auch hier sehr groß und bietet sehr viele Bücher für Klein und Groß. Leider habe ich keine Deutschen Bücher letztes Mal gefunden, als ich da war  – alles nur spanisch – aber manchmal sind – lt. Angaben der Bibliothekarin – auch dort welche.

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