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Anneka Brimhall
Reply with quote  #1 

I really need some new ideas.  I learned German in college and it was difficult so I want to teach my children it while they are still in the critical period.  For 6 years we only spoke German at home.  Then life got complicated!  We moved to a small Arizona community, where bilingualism is seen as a hinderance,  we adopted a child who already spoke English well,  my son has speech delays, and my husband went back to school, causing even more stress.  I don't want my oldest (who's 8) to forget German but the other children won't or can't speak it so I resort to English most of the time.  What can I do to remind myself to only speak German to them, until we get a chance to visit Germany or move to a larger community with other German speakers?

Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Anneka,

Kudos for being persistent!

The ONE most important thing is that you switch over to German yourself. They’ll resist and keep replying in English, but keep going. Actually, we get this question so often there is an entire article about that subject here – particularly for older children and how to transition back to the minority language.

Also, for ideas to boost the language, particularly for your oldest who presumably know German pretty well, here are 10 good tricks. The moment you get the oldest on your side he’ll be your best ‘accomplice’ to motivate the younger.

For general inspiration you can peruse our “Olympic Challenge”. A bit late to sign up for this year, but feel free to put up your own challenge on our forum. I know for a fact that many parents are in the same boat. They could rally around your challenge!

Best of luck, and let us know how it goes.
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Christina Bosemark
Founder & List Moderator
Multilingual Children’s Association

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