This Saturday I’ll take my five-year-old son to Vienna, the city of my youth and still the one in which I feel most at home. Although I always speak German to my kids, the upcoming trip has made for extra-fun German interactions. Already a decent English reader, the boy has wanted to practice reading German, study maps of Vienna together, and talk about stuff I did there when I was his age. He’s asked questions like “Do all the five-year-old kids in Austria speak German?” and (amused at the thought) “What if I come back and don’t know English anymore?!”
Besides the sheer joy of father-son time and the intersection of our childhoods, I’m excited to see the ongoing effects of the trip and how the trip expands his experience of German.
Are you bilingual or raising someone bilingual? What do you enjoy about it? What do you hope to do to keep it up?