Mesheel, in Taiwan, wir sind alles verruckt.
[quote=“mesheel”]So here is a question: Suppose me and my boyfriend have kids one day, how many languages do you think a kid can cope with?
I’m asking cause I myself am from Switzerland and therefore would speak Swiss German and German to my kid. My boyfriend is Taiwanese, he speaks Chinese and Taiwanese and his parents speak Hakka. We mostly speak Chinese together but sometimes English as well. So is our kid either going to be a super brain or just totally fucked up?[/quote]
Most studies I’ve read on the subject of a child growing up in a multilingual environment indicate that s/he may initially lag in linguistic development with regards to individual languages (compared to a child the same age struggling with one language), but that ultimately s/he will master all those langauges s/he was regularly exposed to through adolescence, and will have above average cognitive skills.
The fear that parents have that if their child is exposed to more than one language on a regular basis it will somehow impair them is totally unfounded. In fact, the child benefits from growing up with more than one native language.
Off topic, but how does one aquire the status of village idiot?
I always thought Bob was quite sensible.
People may be interested to read the Bilingual kids, semi-lingual adults thread that I started a while back.
I want to think about it, but for some reason I can’t.
[quote=“AWOL”][quote=“Bassman”]One thing I have noticed, please keep in mind that my sample group is a small town and I only have on Eurasian child(is that a better term?), the more people think that my son looks Chinese the more they will ask if he can speak English. Then some idiot will say that he doesn’t look European at all and that explains why his Chinese is so good and his English is trailing somewhere in the distance. Simple fact is that it has more to do with the people he spends more time with, his grandma and mom, his father, me, only sees him for a short time each day. The environment is everything. However, I can understand, from the bumpkin attitude that prevails here, that the more people think my son is Chinese, then the more pressure he has to learn English, or should I say, we as the parents feel the pressure to teach him more.
Actually, he is doing quite well with English at the moment, it’s just that his Chinese and Taiwanese is so much better. Sometimes it’s just habit, now he’s getting the habit of speaking English to me, and Chinese to all non-big noses.
Maybe, just maybe, if the parents bow to the pressures of society, as hicklike as it can get, then the results could be something like bob has suggested. Personally, in my small sample case, I have found it to be true, in a small way at least.[/quote]
Is that your son in your avatar Bassman? Regardless of language he has the classic hips out, V sign Taiwan kid pose for photos going on! [/quote]
Dude, that aint a ‘v’, that’s ‘3’. He is saying that he is three years old (2 in English).
Well, I’m sure that more than one language might be ok, but how about SIX languages? Wouldn’t that be a little too much?
BTW, Bob kind of has a small, very small, point. If you look at it from another angle that is.
I wouldn’t be so quick to smack him down because of his observations, it probably deserves some discussion, not just calling him an idiot.
I guess, if you lived far enough away from your inlaws (Chinese speaking), you’d have much more control over your childs language development, but if they are right on your doorstep, there may be more things to factor in. I could be wrong, I have been before.
Nope. And the theory is that languages, or rather the human brain, is wired for universals that exist in all languages. I’ve never read anything that suggests that exposure to multiple languages is anything but good.
I think parents worry about it so much because they can’t process new languages easily. But the child’s brain is wonderfully flexible. We lose that as adults.
Honestly I am getting sick of this idiot thing. I OBSERVED A PATTERN AND CAME UP WITH A VERY TENTATIVE THEORY TO EXPLAIN IT. In fact it was so tentative that I didn’t even mention it in the beginning. David suggested that I might subconsciously be expecting something else and that might explain why I focused in on a few cases. Sounds reasonable but I really don’t think that is what I did. In fact from what I can recall just now, not one of the more caucasian looking kids spoke English at all that I heard, whereas most of the more Asian looking kids did. Mine is an infinitely small sample I realize but if there is anything at all to what I am saying I have yet to hear another, more logical explanation than the one I put forward. Not that I don’t think there probably is one. I just haven’t heard it yet.
What? No one has been calling you an idiot. Back on page one, I said your remark was dumb and I referred to your status on 'mosa as ‘village idiot’ but we’ve moved on and covered a lot of ground since then.
We have been having an interesting discussion for the past two pages in case you hadn’t noticed…
Ok, let’s not dismiss the theory that Bob has then. Let’s try to think of reasons why it could be that way. I already posted a few, and from my point of view, in my small sample area, I’d be inclined to agree with some of what he thinks.
Not a bad thread Bob, not a bad thread at all.
I think bob’s observations have merit, I just haven’t had any to either support or refute them.
Sorry Bob, can’t help you with your theory. My six year old boy speaks Mandarin to his Mum, English to me. So, if you saw him out and about with me, he’d be speaking one language but if you saw him talking to his mother you would have seen something different. But that’s just my small sample. Oh, he looks more like his Dad, by the way.
Spack mentioned something about experts saying that rules need to be made and kept. We never made any rules but after developing the habits we have, I have noticed that my boy is now much happier if we keep things the way they are. He can get quite upset if I speak to him in Chinese, even if I’m doing it to try to help him out, because we both know his Chinese is better than his English by miles. He’d much rather struggle on in English if he’s with me and keeping the child happy is very important.
[quote=“Bassman”]Ok, let’s not dismiss the theory that Bob has then. Let’s try to think of reasons why it could be that way. I already posted a few, and from my point of view, in my small sample area, I’d be inclined to agree with some of what he thinks.
Not a bad thread Bob, not a bad thread at all.[/quote]
Well. I’d be inclined to disagree with some of what he thinks. I have already made several comments about why I think there is no inverse relationship between appearance and language skills . If people would like to propose plausible theories for bob’s observation then of course I’ll be glad to hear them and give my opinion.
[quote=“Spack”][quote=“Bassman”]Ok, let’s not dismiss the theory that Bob has then. Let’s try to think of reasons why it could be that way. I already posted a few, and from my point of view, in my small sample area, I’d be inclined to agree with some of what he thinks.
Not a bad thread Bob, not a bad thread at all.[/quote]
Well. I’d be inclined to disagree with some of what he thinks. I have already made several comments about why I think appearance has nothing to do with language ability.[/quote]
But does appearance have anything to do with how people will treat you or does it have any impact on the expectations that people will have for a child’s language abilities. Does it affect the ways that some parents educate their children and the choice of language that is primarily taught, or the family pressure and expectations. This is what I would think could happen in Taiwan.
In Tachia people would think that ‘if he looks white then he must speak English’ this makes me want his Chinese to be super, but makes his mother want his English to be better, face and all that. Appearance has no impact on natural ability, but expectations are a whole different story. I guess in your case you are very lucky.
BTW, does my kid look more like a Taiwanese or a big nose?
Hard top say overall, but he’s got your wife’s nose.
Might change when he grows up.
Your nipper looks more Western than Chinese to me.
[P.S., I went back and edited slightly but you’d already quoted me. I hate it when that happens!]
Very cute kid. To answer your question, I would say that in this picture she looks more