bilingual cake

Ideas and dialogue for adults about bilingual parenting. 


Children do not always learn the language their parent speaks to them. This can be avoided if parents understand what bilingualism really depends on.

Thank goodness there are hundreds of bilingualism studies from around the world that can help.

Bilingual Cake is based on top picks from academic research, as well as my 15 years of trilingual parenting experience and community work with bilingual families. 

Bilingual Cake

But children just learn languages very easily, don’t they?

There is a widespread belief that bilingualism is an easy goal to achieve. That children learn languages through simple exposure. There is lot more to bilingual development than meets the eye. Bilingual family life can succeed very well, but not if it's left to chance. 

I thought many parents would like to know what success in bilingual parenting depends on. The trouble was how to explain it? No matter how much I like dry academic texts and monstruous words, most people don't. 

Then one Saturday morning my 6-year-old daughter asked if we could bake a cake. I promissed. Then I started thinking: Do we even have eggs? Did I use up the butter yesterday. It occurred to me the the whole process of cake baking had a resemblace to raising bilingual children.

Parent’s persistent speaking of their language is like vigorous whisking. It is certainly necessary, but it is not enough for active bilingualism to develop. Everyday language environments are like bowls that must contain certain ingredients, otherwise there will be no batter, no matter how much we whisk.

In Bilingual Cake we take a look at the ingredients available to our families. We reflect on the outcomes we might expect and examine how we might change our situation to better enable bilingual development.

Baking is never fool-proof, but with knowledge and experience we become better bakers. Anyone can learn.

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Bilingual Cake @ Hill Station, SE14 5TW
Bilingual Cake Talk
27 Nov 2015
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Bilingual Cake @ Telegraph Hill Festival
Saturday 19 March, 2-4pm, SE14 5TY
19 Mar 2016
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Bilingual Cake @ Finnish Saturday School in St Albans
Saturday 5th November, 10am-12noon, AL1 2QA
5 Nov 2016