Children exposed to different languages become more aware of different cultures, other people and other points of view. But they also tend to be better than monolinguals at ‘multitasking’ and focusing attention. They are often more precocious readers, and generally find it easier to learn other languages. Bilingualism gives children much more than two languages! (cfr. Bilingualism Matters)



Speaking multiple languages is a valuable asset in our global world and fostering the family languages (mother/ father language) helps children to find – or maintain – their identity.

No matter if we are monolinguals or bilinguals (or multilinguals) ourselves, we all can help our children acquire or learn new languages and become bilinguals.

Children do not become bilinguals "by magic". It is an ongoing process that takes several years and needs consistency, commitment and creativity not only from parents, but also from extended family, teachers, friends.

It becomes even more complex if we lead an international life, i.e. move to different countries, our children change schools and languages, or if we experience major change.

  • Which languages do I want my children to speak – read – write?

  • Which method will work for my family?

  • What should I do if my child doesn't to talk back in the "right" language?

  • What can I do when my child turns silent, stops talking?

  • Will my child be able to maintain his/her family language(s) ?

  • What will happen when my child is a teenager / a young adult?

In these workshops I will discuss the kind of issues families can face with their children.

One is aimed for parents of 0-6 year old children, the second one for parents of 6 to 18 year old children.


In this online workshop you will:

- meet people in a similar situation

- get a clear picture about how you – together with your partner, teacher, caregiver, extended family, friends etc. – can support your child to be(come) bilingual

- work on your own language plan*


*Based on latest research and findings I have developed a SMART language plan© that will help you set realistic goals when planning the bilingual journey of your family.




The next online workshop for parents of 0-6 year olds will take place on 

Monday 10 April 2017

10:00-11:30 CET

Please contact me at for more information




What others said about this workshop:

Highly recommended workshop for bilingual children. Ute has an excellent academical background on the subject backed up with her family experience, having children speaking several languages. She answer with detail any question during the workshop. This workshop has been a big relief from my wife and me, because it knocked down some myth on this subject that other (uninformed) people told us. –(Anonymous father)


This workshop is a must for parents who raise their children with more than one language! Ute is a specialist in bilingualism and speaking many languages herself and her children speaking several languages too, she knows exactly what she is talking about. She answers all questions (and catches up after the workshop: brilliant!). We will surely attend the next one too! – ( Paola and Hernandez G.)








The next online workshop for parents of 6-18yo will take place on demand


Please contact me at




Costs for the online workshop include:

  • handout to work on your SMART family language plan during the workshop!
  • a free follow up 15 mins consultation
  • joining my facebook group to stay updated and share your experiences, ask questions

34 € (incl. 21% VAT) p.p. 


To sign up for the online workshop, please mail me at & make your payment per bank transfer at:


Account Number:  NL74ABNA0411094637

Indicating: YOUR NAME & EMAIL ADDRESS + Online Workshop Parenting the Bilingual Child  + DATE OF THE WORKSHOP






Costs for the in person workshop in The Hague incl. learning materials, refreshments and a free follow up 30 mins consultation:

60 € (incl. 21% VAT) p.p.

45 € (incl. 21% VAT) p.p. if you bring a friend


–––   starting from 2017 I will only organize this workshop "in person" if there are at least 5 participants –––



I am member of the following research organizations:

Società Italiana di Linguistica e Filologia Romanza

Società di Linguistica Italiana

Collegium Romanicum

Association Internationale d'Études Occitanes

Deutschen Romanistenverband

Deutschen Mediävistenverband

Deutschen Italianistenverband

Deutschen Hochschulverband

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  3. If ever a parent is needed to tell about the experiences with raising children bi-lingually (mine are 19 and 21), I’d be happy to tell about mine.

    • Thank you, Irmelin. I would surely get back to you. I’m multilingual myself and specialized in bilingualism, but other experiences with teenagers are always very welcome. May I ask you the next time I organize a workshop on bilingualism for older children, i.e. 6-18 yo? It can be quite some struggle to maintain another language when, for example, the school language is not the family language, or not the local language. Would love to discuss this with you.

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  5. Pingback: Family Language Strategy - Ute's International Lounge

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