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 another 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! The original podcast is in Dutch. Some of the content is the same but most is different, so if you understand Dutch, hop over to www.kletsheadspodcast.nl or search for Kletsheads (“Dutch edition”) in your favourite podcast app.
The third season of Kletsheads (available from April 15th, 2023) is brought to you thanks to funding from HaBilNet, the Harmonious Bilingualism Network. We’re very grateful to Habilnet for making this season possible!
Dr. 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. Originally from the UK, Sharon has lived and worked in the Netherlands since 2001.
Anna Mihlic is the Kletsheads social media and production assistant. She’s currently a Masters student in Linguistics and Communication at the University of Amsterdam. She has a background in European Studies and has interned for a climate thinktank, a political campaign and a human rights NGO during her studies. She is originally from Hungary, but having lived in the UK before and now studying in the Netherlands, she’s multilingual herself. She loves everything that has to do with languages, so the theme of the podcast is very close to her heart.
Wieke Vink is Head of Programmes at a social enterprise in the UK. She completed her Master’s in Child Development at University College London, where she did her final research project on childhood bilingualism. Multilingualism is a daily feature in her work and life, and a topic she enjoys exploring with others. Wieke lives in London with her trilingual family. She grew up in the Netherlands, in a family with Dutch and dialect at home. Wieke’s interviewing children and young people about their experiences with childhood multilingualism in the third season of Kletsheads.