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Foreign Language Crazy?

I’ve been asked many times why I am doing so many foreign languages with my kids. I know it is unusual in the USA for children to learn so many languages, but in some parts of the world being multi-lingual is normal. Here in Canada it is quite normal to be bilingual.

I’ve also been asked why we are doing them all at once. The young brain can more easily adapt to new languages so we are starting young.

Our native language is English. We are learning Arabic, Mandarin, and French as spoken and written languages and we are learning Koine Greek as a written language. We are at the beginning of our foreign language journey and have many years of learning ahead of us. But why those languages? Many years ago I attended Priority One School of Evangelism and my husband and I made a commitment that we would be responsible – responsible for doing our part to bring the Gospel to the unreached. Don’t see the connection? I chose Arabic, Mandarin, and French because a great portion of the unreached speak those languages. With this responsibility at the forefront it was only natural to chose a path of learning that instills in my children the importance of the Great Commission. While I will not dictate or chose my child’s path in life, I will prepare them to be able to go into all the world if that is where God leads them. Knowing Arabic, Mandarin, and French will also give my children an advantage in any future jobs as well. French, although not as popular, will also be beneficial as Canadians. The Koine Greek we are learning is not a spoken language, but it will enable my children to be able to read the New Testament in Greek which is always helpful in any Bible study.
Foreign languages naturally fit into our focus in schooling. We aim to instill within our children a love for God, love for the world, the need for the Gospel, and an appreciation of diverse cultures. We are blessed to live in an area where Arabic, Mandarin, and French are spoken frequently. As they get closer to middle school age they will begin to take local classes from native speakers. I am only fluent in English so classes from native speakers will be crucial for fluency. Right now we are working on the building blocks to these languages and enjoying the adventure.

2 Comments:

  1. Billions are people are not doing just fine. Billions of people in the most unreached areas of the world are desperately poor and dying in numbers that are staggering. If “my idea of God” gives someone hope, fills their belly, heals their body, or takes someone off the treadmill of having to do good to get good in life beyond the grave – then I am all for it.

    Christianity is different from all world religions. It teaches that Jesus did good for you. It speaks to the reality that no person is perfect. Jesus did it for me and I can rest in that. I don’t have to be good to get good. I get good because Jesus is good.

    It is funny though that you mention proselytizing in a negative light. Proselytizing isn’t just what Christians do. In fact, you comment is proselytizing and you want my children to be proselytized. Everyone promotes their ideas unless of course they accept other viewpoints as equal to their own. I haven’t met a person who views all viewpoints equally though. Everyone has a bias.

    BTW, my children already follow an Asian philosophy of life. Christianity was born in Asia.

  2. So you want to simultaneously proselytize and annoy the billions of people who’ve been doing just fine for centuries without YOUR idea of God, religion?
    *sigh*…

    We’ll good luck anyway, maybe your kids will convert to Islam or denounce your religion and follow an Asian philosophy of life, rather than a your god 🙂

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