Multilingual families: Psychology in English
We live in a constantly changing world. In today’s world, boarders between countries are increasingly subtle, allowing families to move and live in different countries temporarily or permanently. Likewise, in modern times there are more “multicultural” families. The reality of multicultural families differs from other cases. Children will possibly speak two or three native languages. This experience shapes the child’s vision and expression.
For instance, let’s imagine a family of a North American mother and a Spanish father living in the province of Barcelona. The children will be able to speak English, Spanish and Catalan, frequently changing between languages. However, what are the challenges this family will have to master? There are often language barriers to be overcome.
In the province of Barcelona, there are very few trilingual psychologists, who understand and know how to deal with the reality of a student with different linguistic registers. Despite studies that demonstrate the benefits of speaking different languages, it is common that during the development of a child, different doubts or uncertainties arise, especially from parents but also by the child. Children may:
- Decide to avoid speaking a language to focus on another. This often results in confusion for the parents.
- Have low verbal fluency in one or all languages. They might have more troubles in expressing themselves due to the existence of various vocabulary and grammar.
- Make more spelling mistakes due to the confusion of multiple languages.
In SeiLá we understand the gift of speaking different languages and the problems that can arise for both children and parents. For this reason, with our knowledge of local and international school systems, we can help both parents and students:
- To build on their interaction abilities
- Acquire tools to distinguish languages
- Express themselves naturally in all their languages
English speaking families
On the other hand, there are also families who have come from another country to live in Barcelona, not knowing the local language and culture. Let’s say, a British family comes to live in Barcelona but do not know the educational system or speak the official languages. How will they feel? What doubts will they have? We are with them in their adaptation process, offering sessions in their native language: English, and helping their children to adapt to the new educational system. We have access to the psychological and educational resources necessary to serve both families and their English-speaking children.