contact

family consultancy

Confidential advice on bilingual parenting.

family consultancy

Confidential advice on bilingual parenting.

scroll

Bilingual Potential provides confidential advice on issues related to bilingual parenting. I provide all these services personally.

This is a message from a mother of a Finnish-English couple living in an English speaking country. Their son had started school and was mixing languages and speaking less and less Finnish. 

"The consultancy was effective - my child now speaks pure Finnish language :-) Mixed sentenses appear very rarely and he notices them himself and self-corrects by switching to Finnish or asking me how to say it in Finnish."

This impact was achieved in six just weeks. Help is available.

Full range of services available in Greater London. Skype consultancy available anywhere.

 

 

Parents

All consultancies, from the simplest to the most complex, begin with a family information questionnaire. Based on that we agree the topic and extent of the consultancy. 

There are three options for family consultancy:

Skype conversation, 30 minutes                       £60

Skype conversation, 60 minutes                     £120                   

Skype conversations are suitable for discussing straightforward practical bilingualism questions, strategies and problems. Many everyday dilemmas can be solved in this way.

Skype consultancy is available internationally and can be built into an on going support. 

Meeting with both parents, 60 minutes          £140

Face-to-face conversations work well to discuss choices and strategies that affect family life in the medium to long term. A meeting is also suitable to discuss alternative solutions related to things such as international moves, childcare and schooling. A meeting between adults can also be a good place to discuss more complex issues without distraction.

All adults with parental responsibility should attend together to develop a common understanding of how to best support their bilingual child. From these meetings we create together a simple memo to help parents remember what they planned for their child.

Family visit                                                             £400 + travel expenses to Greater London

Family visits are the most in-depth family service. This work grew out of parents contacting me for help. Family visits are suitable for communication related problems and complex problems. Meeting just the parents does not tell me how the child speaks and interacts. To assess that, I need to meet the child in his/her own environment.

In past cases parents were facing either an unusually big challenge, or their child had unusual strengths. Situations where parents have sought this kind of consultancy have included:

  • Planning for family life with three or four languages.
  • Trilingual child with social and communication problems.
  • Trilingual child with additional learning needs.
  • Trilingual child missing early language development milestones.
  • Language planning for moving to a new country.
  • Multiliteracy for child with multiple native-like languages.
  • Activating the minority language of a younger sibling.
  • Schooling in a language completely new to the child.

In this service we do more detailed mapping of the situation at the planning stage. Then I visit the family home for two hours. I interact with the child and observe family interaction. I discuss the observation with the parents and suggest possible ways forward.

Sometimes there is nothing to worry about. We put in place strategies for language use or achieving multiliteracy. Sometimes I find that the child is communicating in one or more languages just as children of their age normally do. In these cases the advice from one meeting is enough for parents to support their child’s development in all relevant languages.

However, sometimes there is a significant problem that needs more help. I explain what the problem is, how it comes about, what kind of risks are involved and what are the possible strategies to resolve the situation. Parents discuss the choices and choose a priority. Sometimes I need some time to consider all the angles too. I may also seek other expert advice on behalf of the family.

Parents always receive a detailed written report on their family visit. If parents wish, we can arrange follow-ups for example by Skype, or I can support parents in communicating with multiagency teams working on their child’s needs.

I give the bilingualism or multilingualism angle to the situation, but I may also signpost parents to seek further assessment or advice from another professional who is competent to meet the developmental or medical needs of their child. Depending on the situation this might be, for example, a speech and language therapist in a specific language, a developmental psychologist or a pediatric neurologist.