Blog Our Bilingual Journey so far

Our Bilingual Journey so far


Our Bilingual Journey so far


I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk through our bilingual journey. The decisions and the changes we made on our journey.

Our decision was easy with regards to the language that we were going to choose. I am a Brit living in Austria so our majority language is German and the minority language is English.

Our decision to raise our child bilingually, was the fact that she should be able to communicate with my family and friends in the UK. Plus I did not want to be a translator the whole, time we were visiting.

I started really early and when Emily was still in the womb. I was listening to music in English, reading-aloud in the evenings when relaxing. Crazy I know but I wanted to get started early.

The Problems started

As soon as Emily was born it was full on OPOL (One Person One Language). This worked really well until we reached the point where Emily was talking. She was hearing me in my day job  (riding instructor) that I was also able to speak the language that Daddy could speak – this is when some problems started to arise and we needed to make a few changes to our language learning journey.

I know that some specialists would say, ‘You need to carry on with OPOL, just keep speaking in the minority language and the child will accept it.’ All good in theory, but this was practice and Emily would start asking questions such as, ’Why do you speak English with me?’ or would just refuse to answer me at times. So we decided to make a change and it has been the best decision that we have personally made – we needed to be flexible!!!

The Change

We are a very outdoor family running a riding school and livery yard, plus having an active Labrador retriever. We therefore spend numerous hours outside per day either on nature walks or playing.

Emily changed a lot when we were outdoors and her curiosity grew and grew for learning whilst outdoors. So we changed to outdoor language learning using nature and it has been the best decision.  Completely relaxed learning, picking up new words and short sentences.  Of course I also speak to Emily sometimes at home in English as well when we are role playing with her Barbie dolls or our reading aloud time is all still in English but, our main language learning activities take place outdoors.

What I really want to say with this is that whatever journey that you decide to take please be flexible, and try and listen to your child and not to family and friends who will try and influence you on your journey. It is your family’s journey and every family and child is different and your journey should not be compared to others. Enjoy the journey and the results regardless of how big or small.


Next Month

During the month of February I will be running a blog feature called ‘Top 5 Language Learning Tips’  This guest blog feature is where numerous established language learning teachers, bilingual families and homeschooling parents will be sharing their top 5 language learning tips with you to get you started and  to keep you motivated on your language learning journey.

Rachel x


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Hello Language Learners!

My name is Rachel and I am so pleased that you have found your way here.

I support families who are either raising their children bilingually or who wish to introduce english or german into their home or homeschooling routine using nature and the great outdoors.

I started 'The Outdoor Bilingual Learner' initally as I was writing my bilingual book, after finding that bilingual resources in english and german were extremely lacking (having looked for various resources being a bilingual home). Also in order to not only share my experience of raising a child bilingually but also to encourage more families to spend more time outdoors to learn langauges.

I wish to inspire families to overcome any reservations that they may have in introducing english or german into their homes and for them to gain confidence in their language journey.


Here is what I can do for you.


The 'Resource Library' is full of free bilingual resources which is updated regularly, to work through in your own time.

1:1 Coaching

This is a one time Power-Hour or even an on-going support to ensure that your are clear on what your language jouney should look like and also to ensure that you meet your language goals for the future.


My book 'The Outdoor Bilingual Learner' is available as E-Book or paperback


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