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Aga Pędrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Bilingual mind

I began to be interested in language and migration when my parents emigrated to Ireland in 2005. At the time, I was almost 16 and I did not want to go with them – I insisted to stay with my grandparents. For several years, also later during my studies when I lived independently, I visited Ireland several times each year. I travelled a lot across Ireland with my parents and thanks to that I felt I knew the country very well and that Ireland became close to my heart.
Yet, I was still not ready to emigrate. My studies of Polish philology deepened my linguistic interests and I dedicated my BA and MA theses to “Ponglish” (the mixed language that includes elements of both Polish and English) and bilingualism of Polish children living in Ireland and in Great Britain.
In order to collect my research material, I visited several Polish complementary schools, I talked to teachers, parents and children of Polish descent. Everyone had different stories, views, experiences.
After graduation, I decided to move to Ireland, where I currently work as a teacher in Polish complementary schools. Shortly after my arrival, my daughter was born and I understood that, despite this seemingly good knowledge of the Irish reality, moving to a new place and bringing up a child with two languages can be a challenge.
I started writing a blog because I wanted to share my knowledge, opinions, experiences and I am always happy to hear other people’s views.
I know that many migrant parents need support, reliable knowledge, advice and they are interested in language and migration. I write my blog for parents, teachers and to all the people who are interested in child bilingualism & biculturalism and on Polish as a heritage language.
In my blog posts, I always stress the fact that bilingualism is an investment for life and that it should be built on the family’s respect for both countries, both languages and both cultures.

Agnieszka Pędrak
www.bilingualmind.com


Zaczęłam interesować się językiem w kontekście emigracji, kiedy moi rodzice wyemigrowali do Irlandii w 2005 roku. Miałam wówczas blisko 16 lat i nie chciałam wyjechać z nimi – uparłam się, że zostanę z dziadkami. Przez kilka lat, już później mieszkając samodzielnie w trakcie studiów, odwiedzałam Irlandię kilka razy każdego roku. Dużo podróżowałam po wyspie z rodzicami, co sprawiło, że czułam, że znam te kraj jak własną kieszeń i że jest mi on bliski. Wciąż nie byłam jednak gotowa na przeprowadzkę. Studia polonistyczne pogłębiły moje zainteresowanie językoznawstwem, a swoje prace dyplomowe poświęciłam właśnie językowi Polaków za granicą (językowi mieszanemu, zwanemu „Ponglish”) i dwujęzyczności dzieci polonijnych w Irlandii i Wielkiej Brytanii.
Kiedy zbierałam materiał do badań, odwiedziłam kilka polskich szkół sobotnich, gdzie rozmawiałam o dwujęzyczności i języku dziedziczonym z rodzicami, nauczycielami, uczniami
polskiego pochodzenia – dzięki temu poznałam przeróżne doświadczenia tutejszych Polaków, a temat dwujęzyczności jeszcze bardziej mnie zainteresował. Po ukończeniu studiów
zdecydowałam się wyemigrować do Irlandii, gdzie obecnie uczę języka polskiego w polskich szkołach sobotnich. Niedługo po przylocie na Zieloną Wyspę urodziła się moja córka.
Zrozumiałam wtedy, że mimo pozornie dobrej znajomości realiów życia w Irlandii, emigracja i wychowywanie dziecka za granicą wciąż mogą być codziennym wyzwaniem. Zaczęłam pisać bloga, bo lubię dzielić się swoimi przemyśleniami na temat dwujęzycznego wychowania i jestem ciekawa doświadczeń innych polskich rodzin za granicą. Wiem, że jest wielu rodziców-migrantów, którzy potrzebują wsparcia, rzetelnej wiedzy, porady albo po prostu chętnie dowiedzą się czegoś nowego o dwujęzyczności. Mój blog skierowany jest zarówno do rodziców, opiekunów i nauczycieli dzieci dwujęzycznych, jak i do wszystkich osób, które interesują się dwujęzycznością, wychowaniem dwujęzycznym i językiem polskim na świecie. W swoich tekstach zawsze podkreślam, że dwujęzyczność i dwukulturowość są „inwestycją” na całe życie, a dwujęzyczne wychowanie powinno opierać się na szacunku całej rodziny wobec obu krajów, języków i kultur.

Agnieszka Pędrak
www.bilingualmind.com

Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, raising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Celebrate World Book Day on this snowy day!

The Beast from the East has brought Siberian weather to Ireland and on 1st March all schools will be closed.
Don’t forget that 1st March is World Book Day!
Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. So why not take this opportunity to read stories all together in different languages? Why not hold a multilingual reading marathon with friends and neighbors? Or a role play game linked to your favorite book or character? If you have ideas on how to encourage children in reading in more than one language in the home, share them with our community, by posting below!
Happy World Book Day!

www.worldbookday.com

Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, raising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Volunteers wanted!

Mother Tongues is looking for volunteers to assist during the Mother Tongues Festival (24th February 2018, Outhouse, 105 Capel street, Dublin1).

To apply, please fill in THIS FORM.
NEW deadline is 5th February.

Do not miss out on this great opportunity to participate in the first multilingual Festival in Ireland!

Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, raising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Goodbye to an eventful 2017!

We are very close to the end of 2017, and I feel it is time to reflect on all the achievements of this very exciting year.
How did it all start? On a cold January day, after an inspiring chat with a colleague from Trinity College, I decided to restart a previous project which I had abandoned in 2010, when I left Ireland to take up a post at the University of Reading. Read more

St. John Paul’s Polish School, Aga Pedrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Talk on Bilingualism in Kilkenny, 20.10.2017

Last Friday Aga gave a short talk on bilingualism to parents of St. John Paul’s Polish School in Kilkenny.

St. John Paul’s Polish School, Aga Pedrak, Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin
Aga Pedrak

During one hour presentation, they discussed what is bilingualism, what are the benefits and challenges associated with bilingual upbringing and how to support bilingualism in small and school-age children. Parents asked about everyday tips that would help them encourage they children to use Polish at home and outside. They were also interested in the impact of complementary schools or other after-school classes held in the minority language.

All participants received leaflets and brochures on bilingualism and an e-mail with additional information and links to helpful online resources.

The talk was organized with the cooperation of St. John Paul’s Polish School in Kilkenny in order to celebrate Polish Bilingual Day celebrated every October since 2015 by Polish diaspora around the world.

 

Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, Dublin

Would you like to sponsor our first Mother Tongues Festival?

Mother Tongues, Mother Tongues Dublin, mother tongues, multilingualism, rising bilingual children Dublin, bilingualism, DublinTo celebrate UNESCO International Mother Language Day, and the first birthday of Mother Tongues, we will host the first Mother Tongues Festival.
The Mother Tongues Festival will take place on 24th February 2018, and it will be a celebration of Ireland’s linguistic diversity, with performances and workshops in many different languages.
Find out more about our lineup on the Festival official website: www.mothertonguesfestival.com.
Our team is working hard to organise this unforgettable event and we are looking for sponsors.
Sponsorship will be used for festival costs and will also be a fundraiser for Mother Tongues activities held throughout the year.

There are three levels of sponsorship available:

  • Level 1: A donation of 100
    Acknowledgement of your sponsorship and your logo in the festival programme, and on the Mother Tongues Festival website and Facebook page;
  • Level 2: A donation of €200
    Acknowledgement of your sponsorship and your logo in the festival programme and on the Mother Tongues Festival website and Facebook page;
    Corporate signage at the Mother Tongues Festival;
  • Level 3: A donation of €500
    Acknowledgement of your sponsorship/your logo in the festival programme and on the Mother Tongues Festival website and Facebook page;
    Corporate signage at the Mother Tongues Festival;
    A stand at Mother Tongues Festival (limited places);
    Your logo on the publicity fliers and slides at our Bilingual and Multilingual Family Network events .

Your sponsorship would mean that Mother Tongues can continue working to support bilingual and multilingual families in Ireland. To sponsor Mother Tongues, please email Elena: elena@mothertongues.ie.