About me

Multilingual life, multilingual family, multilingual thinking.

Zita Mate

My whole life has been determined by multilingualism. I was born in a multicultural region a few kilometres from three borders with three different countries. I wrote my first thesis at the ELTE Faculty of Comparative Literature in Budapest about Ödön von Horváth, a multilingual author. Furthermore, when I moved to Barcelona for family reasons, I found myself faced with a new challenge: working at The German School in Barcelona. Although I already spoke German, the job made me realise that I needed to improve my Spanish and Catalan in order to work with the students. The more languages we had in common, the better our communication would be.

So, I enrolled at the UAB in Barcelona to study Translation and Interpretation of German and Russian into Spanish, but when I finished my studies, it became clear to me that I couldn't stop there. I re-enrolled at the same University to study my third degree: a Master's in Research in Didactics of Language and Literature, specialising in the education of multilingual students. I chose this specialism because working with multilingual students requires different didactics in their first and second languages, not only in the school where I work, but in classrooms throughout the world. Many students no longer come from a homogeneous linguistic environment, and they may have several first languages.

My Master's thesis was selected as the top thesis in my year group, and this gave me the opportunity to participate in several conferences at different universities. In recent years I have been invited to give many talks and informational workshops.

I am mother to two daughters who grew up speaking four languages: Spanish, Catalan, German and Hungarian. At the age of 16, they both reached C2 level in English and my youngest daughter is currently taking a C1 level French course at the age of 20.

I have real-life experience of the distrust some people felt about my choice to educate my children in multiple languages. When raising my daughters, I was given both good and bad advice. I would like to share my experience with you so that you can avoid the doubts and worries I sometimes felt. Raising multilingual children can be an uncertain path. Trusting children is essential; however, it may not be enough. Thanks to my experiences as a mother, teacher, and researcher, I can help show you how to successfully educate multilingual children.

I am available for private consultations on Zoom, accessible for teachers and parents anywhere in the world.

Did you know that multilingual children tend not to excel in any language at first? What’s more, because of this, they are often viewed as having difficulties and this can be very frustrating for them.
Did you know that negative prejudices about multilingual environments damage multilingual children’s linguistic development?
 
Did you know that without adequate support, it is possible for children in a multilingual environment to grow up without fully mastering any of the languages they speak?
Did you know that the best weapon against prejudice is knowledge?

Book a free 20 minute consultation now and see how I can help you.