063: Bilingual story time and parenting advice from a bilingual speech therapist with Joy Penard

Episode 63 

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I chat with Joy Penard.  Joy has a degree in speech-language pathology at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she met her French husband and began creating her own multicultural experience. They moved to Ireland, then Germany, adding two daughters and the German language to the mix.  She lives in the Alsace region in France.

Episode #63 Quick Guide

On this episode, Joy discusses with us:

  • Her early interest for other cultures and languages;
  • What led her to learning French in high school;
  • Her experience in Ireland as a bilingual speech therapist;
  • Some of her experiences regarding speech and language development in children and how that differs in the multilingual population;
  • Resources that parents can use to inform themselves and other professionals working with your child about multilingualism including:o    Colin Baker, author of A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism, Video Collection addressing common issues about multilingualism ando   A helpful “Frequently Asked Questions” collection regarding language development
  • How languages are managed in her trilingual home now that they are living in France and how her family has adapted their family language strategy as their environment has evolved;
  • How they have leveraged trips and their extended family to add more exposure to their target languages;
  • How she resonates with Madalena Cruz Ferreira’s approach to multilingualism;
  • The importance of taking off some of the pressure we as parents put on ourselves regarding the language journey;
  • The valuable gift that you can give to your children by passing on their heritage languages;
  • How she started a bilingual story time at her local library;
  • How she actually leads the story time between English and French;
  • An article from Multilingual Living on HOW to do the bilingual story time;
  • How the greatest obstacle they currently have is supporting her girls’ language learning with German;
  • Her encouragement for couples to learn each other’s language;
  • An uncomfortable moment she experienced on her language journey followed by two really funny moment,
  • How proud she felt when she heard her oldest daughter have a conversation in ALL THREE languages with her youngest daughter shortly after coming home from the hospital.

Once we hop on the Autobahn at Bilingual Avenue, Joy shares –

  • Favorite resources: Visitors from the target language countries that stay with the family as well as visits to those countries;
  • Best advice received: Follow your instinct!
  • What has held her back: Getting more connected with the German language;
  • Great family habit: Her own confidence on sticking with the importance of becoming multilingual;
  • Favorite Books:
  • Best Advice to others: If you need to work with a speech and language therapist, strive to find a clinician who understands multilingualism.  Keep in mind that recommending that you only speak one language to your child is misleading.



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