Kletsheads* is a podcast about bilingual children for parents, teachers and speech language therapists. What can you expect if you’re raising your children bilingually? What’s important? What will help your children’s language development and what won’t? In each episode, Dr. Sharon Unsworth, linguist and mother of two children (both bilingual, of course), discusses the science behind the language development of bilingual children with a different expert. Along the way, there are practical tips, we hear from children about what it’s like growing up with two or more languages, and we talk to parents and professionals about their experiences with bilingual children.
*Curious about the name? Klets is the Dutch word for “chatter”. The podcast is a spin-off from the child language festival we’ve been organising for a few years now here in Nijmegen. The festival is called Kletskoppen, which means “chatterboxes” and literally translates as “chatter-heads”, hence the beautifully bilingual name for the podcast!
Kletsheads is a Dutch-language podcast but we occasionally have guests who prefer to be interviewed in English. Normally, everything else is then in Dutch, but we decided to create a completely English-language version of one of these episodes (about planning for a bilingual child) as a trailer for a standalone English-language version of the podcast that will launch in autumn 2020.
Sharon Unsworth is a language scientist at Radboud University, Nijmegen, where she researches the language development of children growing up with two languages. She is also mother to two bilingual children, growing up with English and Dutch. The podcast was started as part of the 2in1 project, a research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.