Parent Workshop: Workshops for Multilingual Families

On January 24, Prem successfully hosted their first workshop for Multilingual Families. Arthur Fang, Canadian Speech-Language Pathologist from Hong Kong, shared some highlights about the nature of multilingual development. It was very interesting to discuss various common myths and misconceptions. There were many questions and insightful answers about bilingual development, language aptitude and the significance of language exposure in early years. 

During the presentation, Arthur brought up an interesting idea about the importance of raising our children in a bilingual/multilingual environment: to consider not just the immediate gains of understanding and using a chosen language, but long-term learning/schooling plans and future opportunities. “Education for my child is a marathon, not a sprint”. 

There are some important questions to be answered for multilingual families who consider their child’s individual journey of language development. In the end, what are YOUR goals?

  • To be able to communicate in a basic manner?
  • To be completely fluent in verbal and literacy skills?
  • To have some exposure to a foreign language?
  • To be able to hold structured and productive meetings?

As a member of a multilingual family, it was very informative and reassuring to be a part of vibrant conversations about strategies to promote language learning at home. A few parents have already started some talks about how parents and students of multilingual families could potentially be supported here at Prem. Let’s hope we continue the discussion of possible ways to support the development of other languages while maintaining and embracing personal identity. 

Agnes Wdowik

Learning Support Teacher

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