18 March 2021. by Anne-Lise Artaud. We had a very lovely evening around a hot topic for us expat. How to raise multilingual children? This subject was presented and all our questions answered by an experienced researcher that has herself personal experience on this matter. It was very interesting to learn about the flexibility and resilience of children that from a young age are able to learn and retain different languages.
Language forms part of our identity
The Netherlands is a country that welcomes a large number of immigrants and expats, making it a very culturally rich and diverse nation. A part of this cultural diversity is the great variety of languages spoken both inside and outside the home. And, language forms an important part of who we are.
We learned a lot during this one hour webinar with Elif Durgel from Roots & Wings Academy. She is a developmental psychologist specialized in parenting and child development especially in multicultural contexts. During this webinar we talked about
- the benefits of multilingual development
- importance of mastering the local language (Dutch)
- ways to support multilingual children’s language development
- possible hurdles in language development and how to deal with them
Impact of Language Development
I was also amazed to learn that your personality and the way you speak changes from 1 language to another. We actually live our culture primarily through the language we speak, and even if this wasn’t new to me, the explanation delivered with this statement made me wonder how far our brain and intelligence can take us in today’s world.
This webinar was really full of useful information and with tip and tricks on how to help (our) kids with bilingualism. This webinar wasn’t centered around expats in the Netherlands and was useful for any expat all around the world. To close the webinar we had a full Q&A sessions that was also very interesting to hear the questions from other expats. I really enjoyed it and I learn a lot it was really a qualitative time for me.”
About Elif Durgel and Roots & Wings Academy
Elif works at Tilburg University and runs Roots and Wings Academy where she provides consultation to parents for child development and immigration related topics. She also works with schools and teachers on their internationalization and intercultural skills.
Elif is Turkish, married to an Indian together with whom she is raising a 7-year-old quadrilingual son. They moved to the Netherlands 3 years ago and live in Eindhoven.