This article by Brett Iimura appeared in the revered Weekender magazine of Tokyo:
Illustration by Ricardo Costa
The article starts with the sentence "The question no longer seems to be whether to raise children bilingually or not, but rather how to do so."
As the daughter of someone who is actively campaigning for multilingualism in Australia, I know that this is something that more and more people in Australia are thinking about, but there is still a long way to go in terms of making raising your children bilingually an accessible, viable and available option with the right support systems in place (at least in Australia anyway).
Would you believe that there is still a great many people out there - and in the education system too - who believe that being bilingual or multilingual is to be at an academic and developmental disadvantage?
It is great to see an article like this encouraging bilingualism to expats in Japan and offering advice on how to do so. For those of you expats around the world, embrace the country and the culture surrounding you and encourage your children to do the same. What is wrong with raising a bilingual kid if being broad minded, adaptable, quick thinking and accepting comes with it?
PS For those of you in Melbourne raising bilingual kids or interested in doing so, come to the Melbourne Language Picnic on March 21 (click for details).
Labels: Australia, Engrish Janglish, Japan, Weekender, Writing