Raising a child in a multi-lingual home poses all sorts of problems. Something we’ve been struggling with is how do we teach him the alphabet, already a daunting task when addressing only one language but with a child who’s talking three?
Alexander speaks English with my Husband, I speak Dutch and English with him, and he speaks French at school. I speak some French but not well enough to teach someone.
My biggest dilemma is with the French. Although I speak it moderately, it is not my native tongue. How to get Alexander to learn French, English and Dutch when there is only one of me? Experts suggest one parent speak in one language and the other parent speak in the other language 100 percent of the time and this is what we do but I would like to start helping him with his French at some point as well. And isn’t trying to teach him all 3 too confusing?
At home, I have been focusing on Dutch for the alphabet, and Alexander started petit section last September so he will learn the French alphabet at school and at some point we will enrol him into English classes and his dad helps him as well.
I read alphabet books in French, English and Dutch with him but when I talk about the alphabet and beginning sounds, I do it in Dutch. When Alexander gets older, say 4 or 5, he will be able to transfer his understanding of beginning sounds (and all other reading skills) to his other languages. Well I hope!
In the mean time we enjoy using the Design Letters products. At least all 3 languages have the same alphabet 😉
Design Letters is a Danish Design Company founded in 2009 that first launched wooden letters for wall decoration. In 2011 the brand introduces a design series with a typography hand drawn in 1937 by the world renowned Danish Architect Arne Jacobsen with stylish kitchen products, furniture and much more!
Click here to go to the the webshop to see the rest of the collection.