Wednesday, 15 April 2009

English as a second Language

It is weird that some parents who are not mother-tongue Anglo would choose to speak to their children in English at home. Weird not because English isn't a super useful language to speak fluently, but weird because the parents are obviously valuing English over their own mother-tongue. I can't help but think this is a little extreme. Or is it?

I ran into a family that did this last year on the ferry to Korcula. Then I thought it was cool. But today, at the park in Luino, I heard another family doing it. They were obviously German (because Germans and Swiss Germans invade Luino on Wednesdays, market day - and then of course the way they were dressed and their accent...). Yet, they were talking to their son in English.

They smiled at me, and I think were trying to establish some kind of complicity... or not. I avoided their gaze of course: I wasn't in the mood to start a whole "Where are you from/why did you come here/how long have you been living here" spiel.

I was kind of annoyed by their accented English. Mother-tongue means the language of the mother, it being the first language, fluent, etc. It is so false to be German, living in Switzerland/Germany and speaking to your children in English! UGH.

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