Why The Language Gardeners?
“A most important factor in raising a bilingual child is the language that surrounds language. The gardener cannot make the language seeds grow. All the gardener can do is to provide certain conditions: a rich soil, light, water and careful tending. Language growth in children requires the minimum of pruning- these are tender, young plants. Correcting language continuously, getting the child to repeat sentences is the kind of pruning that can have a negative effect on language growth. The role of the language gardener is to provide a stimulating soil- a variety of pleasurable environments for language growth.
Language growth can be slow. There will be many anxious days when tender young shoots do not develop smoothly, and later they are in danger of breaking among the strong winds of peer pressure. The parent as language gardener can help maximize those conditions that are open to influence, but parents cannot control the growth of language.” Colin Baker, A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism (2007, p. 29)
In this space we (Genn & Kate) share the collaborative work we do with and for our families and communities to provide rich exposure to a minority language, in our case, Spanish. We will document the often simple, but meaningful, everyday experiences that inspire our families to develop authenticity and family culture around the minority language. We look forward to connecting with fellow language gardeners!