Perhaps as a backlash against the way we were raised, many Asian Americans of my generation are anxious to preserve our roots and give our kids a leg up in the global job market. Our children will be bilingual and bicultural by design, not by accident.
here are a few extracts:
Mandarin was my first language, but once I started school, I refused to speak it. As the only Asian kid in my class, I felt alien enough. I wasn’t about to bust out in another tongue, even in the privacy of my own home.
My parents were too laissez-faire to enforce a Chinese-only regimen, as my uncle did with my cousins. We soon switched to English instead of Chinese, forks instead of chopsticks. My mom made spaghetti for my brother and me, stir-fries and soups for my dad.
The one time I went to Saturday Chinese school, I told my parents I hated it and I wasn’t going back. That was the end of it. They never brought it up again.
Back then, the term “globalization” hadn’t been invented. Immigrants were expected to assimilate, not celebrate their own cultures.
……In multicultural Southern California, speaking a foreign tongue at home is normal, not freakish as it was when I was growing up in 1980s Pittsburgh.
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/16/local/la-me-chang-mandarin-20130317 for the full article.
This story sums up why when developing our bespoke solution we try to ensure that both the new language and the mother tongue are celebrated. The talking technologies allow all languages to be used we do not charge just for the target language one fee pays for the whole range of languages…some say that is silly but for us respecting and keeping previous known languages is as important as learning new ones.
The set up of the books is such that you can have a book that is bilingual English Chinese or English Spanish, but it could equally be created as Chinese Spanish to keep the two languages alive. Every one within the community wins.
and another item on the same story
I’m a little envious of these kids, whose parents are making sure, by hook or by
crook, that they know another language. They won’t have heartbreaking
communication gaps with relatives across the Pacific. Still, I’m glad I got
there on my own time, without weekly exhortations to “Do your Chinese homework.”
In the end, I made it to the bilingual party, too.