Bringing up children in a bilingual community

Approximately 70% of the population in Gwynedd, the stronghold of the Welsh language, report that they speak Welsh. Many parents who themselves grew up speaking Welsh, and also many who grew up speaking only English, are bringing up their children as bilinguals. And most children begin their schooling in Gwynedd through the medium of Welsh.

Would you like to know more about bringing children up bilingually? What are the benefits to the children? How might it affect their education? Do you have any concerns you'd like to discuss with other parents and with professionals?

Bangor University is hosting a "Bilingual Children Question and Answer Coffee Morning" on Saturday, December 10, between 10:00 – 12:00 at the ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism in Theory and Practice (41 College Road). The purpose of the Coffee Morning is to bring together parents, teachers, practitioners, and interested members of the public in an informal setting to discuss issues concerning bringing up bilingual children.

There will be an opportunity to meet and interact with researchers with a wide range of expertise in the field of bilingualism – how children learn to speak and write in two languages, how our brains cope with acquiring more than one language, and how children perform in a bilingual education setting in the Welsh context. After a brief introduction, our panel of experts will discuss with members of the audience any questions that may be raised and will exchange ideas with you on issues you may be facing with bringing up bilingual children.

The event is sponsored by the ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism in Theory and Practice at the University.

Professor Margaret Deuchar, Director of the Centre at Bangor University said:

“We live in a thriving bilingual community, so there’s a great deal of interest in the subject. We really want to raise people’s understanding of bilingualism. The Coffee Morning is just one of our activities in which we can meet with interested people to discuss the subject with them, hear their questions and opinions, and explain our own research findings to them.”

Publication date: 1 December 2011