Kids talk

14th September 2012 at 01:00
Katrina and Callum, P5 and P2, bilingual siblings who are half-German but live in Scotland, talk to Julia Belgutay about being able to speak more than one language

Katrina: I like being able to speak more than one language, because you don't have to learn extra languages when you're in those countries and you can speak the languages and talk to everybody.

Callum: I learned German in Scotland, so it's a bit easier, I didn't have to go to Germany to learn it. When there are other people around, we mostly speak German to each other when they are German, or when we are in Germany.

Katrina: Normally, when we are playing together, we speak English, but with our mum we speak German. If there is something my friend and I don't want other people to understand, we speak German. But sometimes the other children find it annoying. My friend will ask if I can tell her in German, and starts speaking to me in German, but I normally don't answer because it's a bit unfair. It can be rude if it's something about them.

Callum: Dad speaks a bit of German sometimes. But we don't talk German behind his back.

Katrina: We've never done that.

Callum: I think German is the easier language. I just really remember speaking much more, mostly when I am not in school.

Katrina: I think both are easy. Some words I know in German, but I don't know in English; some I know in English that I don't know in German, so it's hard to say.

Callum: Most words in German I know, but some of the hard ones I don't.

Katrina: Sometimes with games it's hard to explain in German. But when I'm in Germany, I have to try. With one of my German friends here, I speak more English than German. We started off with German, then we got into the habit of speaking English. As I'm getting older, I'm speaking German less with friends.

Callum: Maybe when I'm in a country where they don't speak German, I could forget it.

Katrina: But it does come back when I go to Germany. If I want to move to Germany when I'm older it will be much easier, because then I'll know the language.

Callum: But if I wanted to go to Russia, I wouldn't know the language. I could imagine living in Germany, because we always go to our gran.

Callum: My favourite word is "glass", because it's sort of only one language - it's the same in both.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now