Author: Susanne Shanks
Date of Publication: December 2014
Series Title: Scottish Languages Review
Notes: Issue 28
This article describes personal experiences of bringing up our two daughters speaking English and German and aims to contribute to the discourse on bilingualism without relating to theoretical concepts. I will be raising similarities and differences in their linguistic development. They benefit from the same outer conditions (English-speaking father, German-speaking mother, living in Britain), but differ in their own pre-conditions. Mia, born in 2002, has always been at the upper end of the spectrum, picking things up quickly, using every possible opportunity, having a wide range of interests and generally being in very good health. Julia, on the contrary, was born in 2008 with breathing problems and has ongoing health issues as well as learning difficulties, resulting in being delayed in a variety of areas. The article will show how both able and disabled children benefit from being bilingual. It is based on observations as well as experiences and acknowledges the problem of remembering these without having taken notes at the time.