The Foreign Service Journal - December 2017

76 DECEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT If they answer in the “wrong” language, continue talking in the minority language to increase exposure and tomodel lan- guage usage. Get help. Stock up on resources like books, games andmovies in the target language, and increase your network of speakers via playgroups, au pairs and nan- nies. If you are overseas, consider immer- sion and local school options. Take the long view. Raising children who can speak more than one language is not a short-term venture; don’t expect it to happen in one short year. In fact, it may become a lifetime undertaking. From Struggle to Success With somany approaches to rais- ing children inmore than one language, parents will inevitably struggle with their choices. This is particularly the case for Foreign Service parents, since our choice of career means our children will be con- stantly exposed to different languages. While the experts we spoke to provided valuable practical suggestions and reas- surance, there is still a need for specific research on raising multilingual children in the Foreign Service. Finally, FS families might also benefit from additional support. Even though FSI currently provides a few resources, such as access to language experts and a seminar on the topic, parents could also use finan- cial support to cover educational expenses incurred tomaintainminority languages, as well as assistance in finding local and alternative school options abroad. n To Learn More… T he State Department peri- odically offers “Raising Bilingual Children,” a tuition-free evening course designed specifically for Foreign Service parents. For infor- mation on the course, and to see an extensive list of available resources, go to Consider joining a Facebook group: Multilingual Foreign Service Kids is at groups/MultilingualFSkids Raising Bilingual & Mul- tilingual Children can be found at groups/106547209394767