Archive for Trilingualism

Introducing a Third Language

Hello Max,

I’m glad to hear the book is helpful – It’s always exciting to make contact with people who are reading it! You can definitely introduce Hebrew to your daughter, with no hesitation. I would recommend it in the¬†evening, for example,¬†to make it a nice bonding time, maybe introduce songs or read her stories. It will not confuse her. The only thing that researchers don’t recommend is to switch languages completely on a child, especially before the age of 6, but adding a language is wonderful! Don’t worry about your fluency just yet. Share as much or as little as you feel, it’s all up to you. If you can complement her exposure to Hebrew by hiring a babysitter, that’s a wonderful way to do it. I would try to find someone who speaks it relatively well, without too much of an accent. If she had lots of exposure to Hebrew, I would not say this because she would learn it well from the majority of the speakers around her and one person with an accent would not be a big deal. But if that’s the only exposure she gets, I would try to find a close-to native speaker.

Can you start a small playgroup with other children from a nearby synagogue? My resources in France are not as thorough, but I have someone looking to see if there is an equivalent to the MLA map – it’s a wonderful tool! I’ll post it when we find it! Are there publications – magazines, newsletters – that are published by someone from the Jewish community? Sometimes the editorial staff can be very helpful in putting you in touch with other families.

There are two organizations that I just joined that you should check out as well. They’re both in France. One is at http://www.my-bilingual.com – The contact is Olivier. They’re also on Facebook. The other one is http://www.cafebilingue.com created by Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer, the author of the French book “Le Defi des Enfants Bilingues” (A great book!) You can meet a lot of parents and exchange ideas on resources in France. I know you’ll find more ideas in the book but I hope this helps!

Au revoir et bonne chance!

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