Wednesday 7 December 2011

Missed opportunity? Hope not

Today we had a party to celebrate the end of the year, and the beginning of a new era for our babywearing group, Slinging in the Rain.
Atending the party was a lovely couple, first-time parents to a two-week old baby. The little girl was so sweet.

As it happens, the dad is English and the mum is Chinese. They heard me speak to BK2, and more importantly heard her reply in her usual gibberish of Arabic+French+English. They wondered what languages we were speaking, and seemed pretty impressed with our mix of languages.

They want to raise their daughter bilingual, but they prefer to wait until she is one. They hope that by doing so, their daughter would not have a Chinese accent when speaking English. Really, why? I don't know, because I did not ask. I was afraid of being too intrusive.

So I simply explained OPOL and ML, and left it at that. I hope they will go off and do their own research. I hope they will realise that the best way to prevent their daughter from having a Chinese accent when speaking English, is for the two to speak their respective mother tongues!


  1. How very strange! I hope this doesn't hurt their daughter's Chinese.

  2. The dad is English and they live in England. Mandarin is already at a disadvantage, and will be more so if they wait for the baby to be one before they start opol...

  3. When my daughter was 2, we made friends with a franco-English couple here in France. At the time, he was barely speaking English to his kids. he was inspiredby meeting us and my franco-anglo friends. As time's gone on, he still doesn't speak consistent English to his kids but claims to do. the result? His kids have passive knowledge of English while my kids who are the exact same age are both fluent in english. It's so hard not the judge or preach the value of OPOL but...the proof is in the pudding :)

  4. Yep, such a shame indeed.
    It is already hard to keep on top of the multilingual situation when sticking to OPOL, let alone when it is applied on a part-time basis. And the proof is in the pudding as you say ;)

  5. Oh I don't know if I could have kept my mouth shut!!!

  6. Lol Annabelle. I must admit I surprised myself. Let us hope they make the right, informed, choices for them.

  7. Lol Annabelle. I must admit I surprised myself. Let us hope they make the right, informed, choices for them.


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