One of the most-visited posts at this site is What Language Should I Speak in Public with My Bilingual Child?, which has also generated a rich conversation of more than 80 comments to date. The interest in this question surely stems from the fact that this is an issue which in some way, to some degree, affects the great majority of parents seeking to raise a bilingual child.
In fact, scratch the surface of this broad question and you discover the more specific concerns tied to the individual parent and his or her circumstances. These concerns are reflected not only in the comments made beneath the post at this site, but also at a lively thread at The Bilingual Zoo, the forum for further interaction among this audience.
I want to highlight this thread in a blog post because I believe the parents there have done a real service to us all in sharing, very candidly, their thoughts and feelings surrounding what many experience as the emotional challenge of freely speaking the minority language in the midst of a majority language environment.
Like me, I think you’ll find wise and encouraging food for thought in the many perspectives offered in this thread:
At the same time, I see this discussion as a glowing example of the value of this forum—the value of community—in considering widespread concerns from a wide range of views. While I hope my blog and forum are a source of support to other parents on their bilingual journey, the truth is, the experiences and perspectives shared by this audience are a continual source of support to my own journey as well. For this, I feel blessed and grateful.
Again, I warmly invite you to join us at The Bilingual Zoo and become an active member of our community. You’re welcome, of course, to simply visit as a guest, anytime, but there are a good number of benefits to becoming a registered member. And though a small annual contribution is requested of members (and regular visitors), to help maintain and enhance the site, this donation isn’t required to take advantage of membership. My goal is to make The Bilingual Zoo community both sustainable and yet accessible to all.