My Personal Research Journey
“Mommy, I am so glad that today is Wednesday. It means that I will have my French course today and I am so excited. If you never put me in this French course, someday, when I grow up, I must be very regretful”
This is the statement from my daughter Aubrey Celestine when she was 7 years old. My daughter Aubrey was born in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman-Middle East. She is holding the Indonesian nationality but never live in Indonesia. Right now is already fluent in speaking both Indonesian language and English, and continue her excitement in learning French language.
To my surprise, this statement above came out just like that from my daughter, Aubrey, without any stimulation or any previous questions. I noticed that she just want to express her great interest in learning French as a new language for her. As her mother, sometimes I question myself whether I did the right way to put her in many activities. I just want my daughter to have many opportunities to develop her fullest potentials, but at the other side, I was afraid also that I become a pushy mother for her. I was relief to get a clue to answer this question, at least in her French language acquisition.
My personal experience at home sparks my interests, especially in responding to a linguistic and cultural diversity of my students in my working place too. As a preschool teacher in the International Kindergarten, when I walked through the classroom door, I have to face my very young students from around the world, with the different nationalities, culture, language, skin color and abilities. As their teacher and educator, I really want to have a great understanding about the children around me; therefore, I will be able to know where I should stand on responding their linguistic and cultural diversity.
The general topic I would like to know related in early childhood field is the topic about culture, the influences and impacts of culture on the early childhood in certain period, especially for the children from the expatriate families that are living away from their country and moving from one country to another after certain time.
I would like to learn and do more research especially in cognitive-development in the young children, especially in language development and adjustment. I am thinking about three related subtopic according to the general topic I choose above:
- Understanding the expatriate parent’s perspective on the fear of losing their mother tongue while living abroad and their action toward it.
- Ways to foster bilingual children to learn English as the international language and keep on maintaining their mother tongue in expatriate children.
- How the expatriate parents help their young children in adjusting to their new environment.
I realize that the subtopics I choose based on my personal experience are still very general, and the way to get the answer from a scientific research is still a long way to go. Therefore, I am open with any insight, ideas, sharing experience and resources as well as get the feedback if any of you have anything to suggest for my research.
I really hope that my research in early childhood field with the subject of the expatriate children will give the greatest benefit to the expatriate parents and the teacher to help the bilingual expatriate children to adjust to their new environment-but still,….- just like what Hanna Montana said-
‘Get the Best of Both World”……
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman-May 2012