Wouldn’t you like your child to speak at least two languages? That would be nice! This rather rhetoric question bothers me like probably any other mum where she or her partner speaks another language.
In England – where children historically rarely pick up a foreign language at school – this becomes more important and responsibility plus effort lies with parents.
I have an English husband and no Russian community around me, so I regard myself in a minority to say the least. I do not see much point in imposing an “iron fist” approach and make him speak Russian at all times at home (which is quite rusty anyway, but he tries, bless him).
I also would not want deliberately to turn into a tiger mum demanding my child to only speak to me in my mother tongue. I find it quite anti-social when we are out and about. I also hear stories of children rebelling at 10-11 years of age and refusing to speak in their mother tongue for good as a result.
Am I making a strategic mistake?
There is another point to this argument. To truly regard a child as bilingual (and not speaking just what I call “kitchen Russian / German / French”) he or she needs to continue improving their vocabulary, learning grammar (which is a minefield for Russian) and practicing with more than one person, but ideally a wider community of people speaking the same language.
Does this mean having regular lessons? How do I structure them and where do I begin?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter
And please share your story and methods!