In our cozy Swiss-Latvian home 🏡, nestled in the heart of Latvia, the symphony of languages creates a unique melody 🎶 that resonates with love, laughter, and learning. As a family where Dad speaks French 🇫🇷, Mum speaks Latvian 🇱🇻, and together we converse in English 🇬🇧, our journey with our two children—our 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son—through the realms of multilingualism has been nothing short of remarkable.
A Foundation Built on Diversity
From the moment our first child entered the world 🌎, we made a conscious decision to not have a dominant language at home. Instead, we each speak our native tongue to the children, with English as our collective bridge. This choice has crafted an environment rich in linguistic diversity, where understanding and expression know no bounds.
The Multilingual Tapestry of Daily Life
Our children's ability to seamlessly navigate between French, Latvian, and English is a testament to the natural integration of these languages in their daily lives. Whether it's a playful exchange with Dad in French, a heartfelt conversation with Mum in Latvian, or a shared family moment in English, each language holds its unique place in our home 🏠.
Cultivating Language Through Joy and Discovery
Our approach to fostering a love for multiple languages hinges on creating an immersive and engaging environment:
Bookshelves Overflowing 📚:
Periodical Delights 📖:
Screen Time with Purpose 📺:
Wordplay and Humor 😄:
Consistency in Communication 💬:
Technological Assistance 📱:
Bridging Cultures Through Art 🎨
Reflecting on the significance of children connecting with their parents' diverse cultures, we collaborated with Lote Vilma to create the "Latvian Tradition" giant coloring poster. This project is especially dear to us, aimed at Latvian children living abroad, allowing them to touch upon the intangible culture of Latvia. It’s an endeavor that mirrors our family’s journey, illustrating the power of art 🖌 in keeping our roots alive, no matter where we are in the world.
Language Learning as a Choice, Not a Chore
Our children's multilingual journey is marked by choice rather than obligation. While we've gently nudged our eldest to embrace reading in French, every step has been guided by their interests and enthusiasm. Our daughter's love for French comics, which she eagerly shares with her Latvian friends, exemplifies how language becomes a bridge to broader horizons 🌈.
Embracing the World Through Language
Our family's multilingual odyssey is a celebration of the world's diversity, viewed through the lens of our Swiss-Latvian heritage. It's a journey that has enriched our children's lives, preparing them not just to speak multiple languages, but to embrace multiple perspectives with open hearts and minds ❤️.