Multilingualism in the Upbringing and Education of Children in Multinational Families. Case Study from Poland


In this article, through reference to the theories of multilingualism, we would like to outline issues pertaining to the bilingual upbringing of children in bicultural families and their education in Polish schools. Referring to research (interviews) with parents of bilingual children from Warsaw, we will point to strategies employed by parents who communicate with their children in two or three languages. We will also draw attention to difficulties connected with dominant and non-dominant languages (the case of grandparents). In the second section, we will discuss diverse school environments and language in schools where bilingual children function. We also explore the argumentation of both parents deciding to enrol their bilingual children in state schools with Polish as the language of instruction, and those opting for enrolment in private schools with English as the language of instruction or social schools. The research material was collected among parents of bicultural and bilingual children living in Poland, the Mazovian voivodship, including the capital city of Warsaw. The group presented consists of multinational families in which one parent (most frequently the father) comes from a country from the African continent.

Keywords: multilingualism, bilingualism, the upbringing process in multinational families, school education, communication

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