According to scientific research and as mentioned by B. Zurer Pearson (Raising a Bilingual Child), there are two most important factors that support multilingualism in children:

  1. language exposure

  2. motivation to learning a language

This is also evident from actual case studies of real parent stories.

Exposure to language can be done in many ways. The most natural method is to talk to a child in a given language – the more varied, the more fun the better. The exposition can be enriched and increased by reading books, watching cartoons, playing in a given language – everything that a child likes. It is very effective to expose the language to significant, important people, ie. when children have contact with other people important to them: such as their grandma, aunt, uncle, cousin (or emotionally associated people) who speak a given language. Direct, interactive contact with a person who is important, pleasant and desirable to a child cannot be overestimated. As research (B. Zurer Pearson) indicates, the number of people with whom the child has contact with and who speak in a given language correlates with the richness of vocabulary rather than the time of exposure to a given language! For example, when a child listens to several speakers of a given language, eg. once a week, their vocabulary range is more enriched far more than in conversations with just a parent.

It happens that a family that raises a child in a given language does not have grandmothers, cousins, etc. and only one of the parents speaks (or not) the language we want to cultivate. What you can do: you can hire a nanny, an au pair, you can look for other families where adults and children speak a given language. Such meetings, when the child hears that other adults or other children actively use the language, are extremely stimulating, because they show the child that this language is used by more people and they also build the motivation to use it.

Motivation to learn a language: It is a factor that can decide whether a child will want to devote his time to contact with a given language and learning it. A small child up to about 3 years will be curious and eager to learn any language that is exposed to. Then, around the age of 3-4, he can start choosing the language that is closest to him (the easiest one) and may refuse to speak in the “weaker” language. However, having become 7-10 years old, children can still easily start and certainly continue learning the next language. As parents and adults, we should look after the child’s “learning” to be positive: preferably with fun, pleasant activities, with nice and important people. Older children may refuse to work on a minority language as it will see it as less prestigious (see Zuber Pearson) but we adults can show the child different benefits. We can show them that many other who people speak in a given language, can watch a cartoon in a language with understanding, they can communicate with their grandmother, friend, play a game etc.

Multilingual Family Clubs

The Multi Club is part of the Multilingual Families Club project. It is an international project under the Erasmus + program, which aims to promote a multicultural and multilingual society celebrating linguistic diversity in Europe.

The European Union, with 500 million citizens, 28 Member States, 3 alphabets and 24 official languages, is based on “unity in diversity”: diversity of cultures, customs and religions and languages. In addition to the 24 official languages ??of the Union, 60 other languages ??are also part of the EU heritage and are used in specific regions or by specific groups. In addition, immigrants brought with them a wide range of languages; it is estimated that at least 175 nationalities are currently present within the EU.

There is a constant need to address and support the learning needs of multilingual families in European societies. The huge multilingual potential of multilingual families is often an undervalued and under-exploited treasure as a means of maintaining languages ??and cultures as a benefit for Europe.

To achieve this goal, a project partnership, made up of organizations from Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Turkey, combined their common experience and specific skills in the field of intercultural education.