By Colin Baker
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Additional info for A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, No 5)
A6 What Happens If Grandparents and the Extended Family Disapprove of Bilingualism? There are many situations when grandparents and the extended family have a vested interest in the bilingualism of children. Where the grandparents live in another country, for example, a monolingual child may be unable to communicate with grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins and distant relatives. When a family is in-migrant, guest-worker or refugee, bilingualism in the child may help secure close family relationships with those left behind.
The father's and mother's working conditions), the language situation and attitudes of the local community, being a recent or established inmigrant, changing priorities in the family (how important is language development compared with other developmental issues in the family), the attitudes and motivations of the child itself, the influence of brothers and sisters, friends and 'significant others' outside in the community and the effects of the child's school. In some situations, producing bilingual children is easy and natural.
Can the father at least gain a passive understanding of the minority language rather than a child lose out on bilingualism? In short, disagreements need tactfully resolving. Open and frank, positive and empathic discussion is the route to resolution. The most important destination to discuss is the long-term interests of the child. A5 If We Raise Our Child to Be Bilingual, Will It Affect Our Marriage? There is an instant answer to this question. If raising the child to be bilingual doesn't affect the marriage, there is something odd about the marriage!