Monday 11 May 2009

The Dark Side of Multilingualism

You will only ever read positive things about multilingualism on this blog. We feel it's a gift, an advantage and an adventure.

But there is a down side, too, as Eve reports in her latest posting.

Here's hoping we'll never have to deal with ignorance or stupidity like that... did you?


  1. Thanks for linking to the post! I also want to focus on the positive (as stated in my blog's posts - oops!) and was somewhat reticent to make that posting since it wasn't :( but thought it was important for people to think about. Thanks and I enjoy reading YOUR blog!

  2. This is not the "dark side of multilingualism", it's the dark and ignorant side of bureaucracy. The only similar thing I encountered when my girls were growing up bilingual in France was their reluctance to let their primary school fellows know that they spoke another language, for fear of being viewed as different. One can perhaps forgive the kids for their instinctive xenophobia, but are forced to conclude that the schools examiner has the intellect of 10-year-olds. It reminds one of the old adage: what do you call someone who speaks three languages - trilingual; two languages - bilingual, one language - American...

  3. What shocks me in the two incidents is that the kids were only exempt from burocratic coersion because of their outstanding performance. What happens to the bilingual kids in the middle of the bell curve - or beware on the left - what protects them from burocratic abuse?

  4. Glad to find another person who promotes bilingual life. Me too! I am a big fun of bilingual education, bilingual parenting, and bilingual life as you are. Right now I am teaching my baby to learn Chinese, hoping she will become a bilingual in the future.

    Can we exchange link? My reciprocal link goes like this:

    Best4Future Blog: Bringing up baby bilingual!Devoted to bilingual learning, parenting and teaching!

    You can submit your link at and click "links". Thank you!

  5. What?!! Surely being multilingual is a fantastic bonus, and a skill to be celebrated? I envy your children their abilities. I wish mine had the opportunity to learn another language fluently. Still think Souad should do the children's langauge sessions. (Sorry Souad!)

  6. I'm still stunned that this is happening. Don't they realize that bilingualism is an advantage?! I'm so glad I learned about this BEFORE my bilingual daughter enters school. That being said, I guess I shouldn't be surprised - my whole family is opposed to raising my daughter bilingual, even though it's the only way for her to speak to both sides of her family! Grrrrrrr...


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