About La Mother Tongue

La Mother Tongue is my medium to share the joys and challenges of being a new parent as well as to share how we make a conscious effort in our daily life to bring baby up bilingual.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

La Rusa

The other day we took Sofía to our sports club to go swimming. Coincidently, there was another little baby swimming. We learned from the father that the boy was 10 months old and had been walking since he was 9 months old. Later, I ran into the mother in the locker room and she heard me talking to Sofía en Español. She explained that she was Russian and tries to speak to her son in Ruso but “THEY” say that it will confuse him and that Ruso is a hard language for a baby to learn. I of course tried to tell her that he will not be confused and that Ruso isn’t any harder to learn than any other language..bla bla bla… It is really hard to make these kinds of comments in a passing conversation and not sound prepotent. I didn’t want to give her my resume and explain that I’ve been working in this area for over 17 years, but otherwise how does she know I’m credible? Sometimes I feel like I should hand out my business card with CAL’s (The Center for Applied Linguistics) website on it. Here is an online digest from CAL that addresses some of these issues: Raising Bilingual Children: Common Parental Concerns and Current Research.  I’m trying to come up with something concrete and yet nonchalant to say to her in case we run into her again. She seemed interested, but you know, too much info is a turn off sometimes (unless you are a geek like me!)

1 comment:

  1. Every time I hear what seems to me an American mom speaking another language with her kids (or anyone speaking French with their little ones in this country), I want to rush up to her and say "Me too! I'm doing that too!" and "Isn't it hard? But isn't it cool?" and "I'm so proud of us!"

    And when I meet a mother from another country who doesn't speak her native language with her kids in this country, I want to beg her to reconsider. Like you, I wish I had a pithy, authoritative, friendly speech that would convince her to raise her children bilingually after all!