MULTILINGUAL FAMILIES – Consultations, Trainings and Workshops

Sara & Nadar B. Den Haag

My husband and I were concerned about our son who is 2 and barely speaks. We attended Ute's workshop "Parenting the Bilingual Child" and had a consultation session with Ute, where we analized our situation in detail. We made a language plan and looked at the possibilities (school, moving abroad etc.). Ute is an expert in bilingualism and gave us very important tips on how to proceed this next year. We can highly recommend Ute! She illustrated what to expect, and what was important for me: how to respond when teachers or consultatieburo tell you not to speak your language to your child!

Pierre and Ilona C. Delft

Thank you Ute, for the excellent advice you gave us! We are using the plan you made for us and it works very good so far! It is so reassuring to know that you are there to help us if we need. Your constant support and very kind way of caring of us and our sons linguistic development is more than we expected.
We highly recommend your services! Keep on doing what you do: it is highly needed.

Ana-Rita & René Colosso Den Haag

I contacted Ute for a light consultation because my son had problems at school and the teachers were saying it's because of his languages. We speak 3 languages at home and this was never a problem. He is 8 years old and loves reading and writes in the school language and one of our home languages. It came as a surprise to us when the teachers told us that he would need special support, that he was too quiet... With Ute we found a way to deal with the school and to help our son be more confident at school. Ute gave many suggestions about how to work with the school and we are very happy to say that our son is now feeling much better and the teachers are very happy with his results and the way he collaborates! It's been a difficult year for us but we're so glad we got Ute's help! She knows so much about languages and about children who go to school in another language! We can warmly recommend her!

Nadja, Roland, B. and N. Bruxelles

We asked Ute to help us design a Family Language Plan before our first son was born. Now, 5 years and two children later and after 3 international moves, we are incredibly thankful for her help! She guided us through the different phases and helped us find resources and decide on daycare and school. We highly recommend Ute's services! We are so grateful for her calm, encouraging support!

R. and P. Rotterdam

We are a patchwork family of 8, plus 2 children from our previous partners. We speak 6 languages in total. Our children don't have a common language. Ute helped us several times and coached us through many ups and downs, and also issues we had with school and special support necessary for our son. Ute's guidance is fantastic! She is very kind and helped us to work on our communication as an extended family. Her services go beyond what we expected!

S. and A. Van Daalen

I found Ute through her fb group [Multilingual Families] where she patiently answered many questions in the chat. After 1 year (!) I asked her to help us with an issue with our daughter, later with our son. She is incredibly patient and kind. She knows exactly what is going on even without us explaining all the details. This was so great to experience as we went through a lot! We highly recommend her services and will continue working with her.

Renato and Natalie Gentile Milano

We downloaded Ute's free guides for transition. Later we noticed that she helps multilingual families and joined some of her live events [Raising Multilinguals LIVE]. She has a lot of experience and knows exactly what she is doing. It seems like speaking with a friend. My wife and I asked used her services before we became parents and will certainly continue as she helped us a lot with figuring out what languages to speak with our baby. Thank you, Ute, for your kindness!

Chiara S. Croazia

Ute Limacher-Riebold devo a te, come studiosa e ricercatrice linguistica di Multilingual Families, un grande grazie per avermi fatto pensare e sviluppare meglio e al meglio cose che in parte sapevo già e in parte ho gestito in base al mio contesto famigliare.

Anna Gubiani Stuttgart

Se leggi italiano: vedi cosa dice Anna Gubiani a proposito di una consulenza con me: Cosa ho imparato in una consulenza linguistica personale


Dagbjort A. Reykjavík

I found this very useful and gave me a lot to think about. Many of the subjects are things we are dealing with in Iceland for example concerning the obligations of parents, the evaluation of children whom are bilingual and have perhaps learning disabilities and etc. I think through out our conversation we need to do much better in Iceland concerning language policy, the co-operation with parents and far most the emphasis on what is suitable time for children to be in ,,welcoming class".

Sigrún Baldursd Reykjavík

Very good training, most of which will affect my work and focus. It has confirmed that what I do is likely to help and support multilingual children and their families.

Ragnheiður Valgerður Reykjavík

My expectations about the training were met in a very positive way. We had lectures/training which included long discussions about raising multilingual children both as parents and members of school staff. We also got a fantastic training and tips from Ute on how to be successful as consultants for multilingual families and schools. Ute recommended further reading and articles as she has a great overview of the issues regarding muItilingualism. I personally improved my knowledge and practical skills for my job and my head is full of new ideas and possibilities. I highly recommend Ute´s training.

Helga A. Reykjavík

Great training! High academic level but practical at the same time. My main takeaway is professional empowerment since Ute's approach resonated with our work. Ute also gave us some really good directions in regards to literature and strategies for reaching key stake holders. My next action is reading, "digesting" the literature and then devising a plan.

Kriselle Lou Suson Jonsdottir Reykjavík

Our training was exceptionally well-organized and adequately accommodated to our team's focal points. We simply wished to have more time to discuss further but this was probably the main take away, to invite Ute to Iceland and organize more training sessions on more efficient strategies for our work as consultants.

Thora S. U. Reykjavík

Thank you for a very well organized and interesting two day training. As you know it triggered much conversations among our group while we were trying to explain the situation to you but also trying to grasp your information with the aim of applying it.

Oksana Shabatura Reykjavík

I liked you training very much. It was great to see your point of view and your experience.

Irina O. Rijswijk

I attended Ute's workshop about Bilingualism. I speak Russian to my children but one of them has difficulties at school. Ute showed me different strategies to help him and the situation is much better now. Knowing that I can ask her for advice if other problems arise is very helpful. She is very knowledgeable and has a lot of experience!

Linda P. Den Haag

Ute's workshop on Parenting the Bilingual Child was a real eye-opener! She clearly knows what she is talking about and we asked her to mediate for us with our son's school. He was assessed when he was 6 and we were worried because he was way behind the other children... Ute's intervention helped also the teachers to look at our son and other bilingual children in another way: they now can even talk Spanish on the playground!

Pietro and Laura C. Delft

Highly recommended workshop for bilingual children. Ute has an excellent academical background on the subject backed up with her family experience, having children speaking several languages. She answer with detail any question during the workshop. This workshop has been a big relief from my wife and me, because it knocked down some myth on this subject that other (uninformed) people told us.

Medewerker Wijkcontacten en Netwerken Locaties Leidschenveen en Ypenburg

Goedemorgen Ute,

Ik wil je nogmaals bedanken voor de prettige & informatieve manier waarop je gistermiddag jouw kennis en ervaring hebt gedeeld.

Het is fijn om te zien dat je mijn collega’s positief hebt geïnspireerd en richting hebt kunnen geven in hun advies aan ouders die te maken hebben met meertalig opvoeden.

Ik krijg veel positieve reacties!
M. B.

Lucilla Levrero (APLIL – Parent's association at an international school in London)

Dear Ute,

Thank again for your intervention, it was really interesting and full of food for thought! I’m looking forward to attend the second one!

Thanks for the slides, they’ll be useful to go deeper into this amazing subject!


Participant of TU Delft Coming to Delft & Partner Career Advice TU Delft

The contents were so helpful and the lecturer was really professional. Thank you for arranging this valuable event.

Kaitlyn G. (participant of workshop: Welcome to The Hague)

I moved to NL from the States 12 months ago and had a hard time. After an easy start, things kept getting worse and I didn't know what to do, if returning back home or not. My children just started to settle in at school and made new friends. I felt that I was failing. When Ute told me that this is what can happen to expats and guided me through this stage, I felt a huge relief. – I'm still in the NL and am volunteering at school. I'll soon do my NT2 and hope to find a job soon.

Beatrice K. (employee at TU Delft)

I wish I had this workshop right after my arrival. It took me tons of time to find the places I needed and to me it was way more beneficial than the introduction I got in the beginning weeks!

(Anna Carla S.) (employee at TU Delft)

Ute's workshop was a real eye-opener! I would have needed this workshop 3 years ago...

(Melanie R.) (employee at TU Delft)

Ute's workshop is fantastic! She gives so many insights into every day life with locals. I live here 10 years now but learned so much from her! Amazing!

(Catherine D.) (employee at TU Delft)

The workshop was very clear and well balanced. I loved that she also talked about the language. Very helpful and welcoming for someone who just moved here.

(Paul O.) (employee at TU Delft)

The workshop was very informative, good humored and the best presentation I saw! Well done and thank you!

(Jia H.) (employee at TU Delft)

I learned a lot of things about Dutch people. A good way to introduce my self with my neighbours, how to do it and when. Very informative!

(Steve C.) (employee at TU Delft)

Ute gives very good tips and clarification about Dutch culture. Super presentation!

Elena P. (partner at TU Delft)

In her workshop about Dutch Culture, Ute not only gave answers about typical practice and expectations in terms of how formal emails/letters salutations should be depending on the context, but also about body language, gestures and much more!

Maria-Laura P. (partner at TU Delft)

I learnt a lot! Especially about everyday life of people in the Netherlands and their body language.

Helen H. (partner at TU Delft)

I just wanted to say thank you Ute for your excellent course and teaching. I really enjoyed it and it was so much more than I expected, I learned loads in just one day.  I also wanted to compliment you on your training skills and excellent presentation. I love your teaching style especially your use of hand gesture.  It’s a pleasure to learn from you. 

Fabiënne Scholte-Buijs HR, Coming to Delft Service for new international colleagues | Partner Career Advice | Intercultural Communication; TU Delft

Working with Ute is always a pleasure, she is a true professional who acts proactively. She is highly skilled and knowledgeable in the intercultural field. She shares useful insights with our workshop participants and helps new international employees of TU Delft and their partners to understand how The Netherlands is organized and what they can expect of working with the Dutch. 


Participant of TU Delft Coming to Delft & Partner Career Advice TU Delft

We have all heard of the cultural iceberg, but what about the cultural tree?

During today’s workshop “Rediscovering Unities in Cultures” with the intercultural communication expert and linguist Ute Limacher-Riebold, we worked together to understand the complex and hidden meanings behind every day cultural interactions that often lead to misunderstandings. Building upon the solutions we discovered in our previous workshop with the Vrijwilligers Academie, we decided to team up again and not focus first on our differences, but on the underlying values that unites us. Read our recap below to get a taste of the fun exercises, wise words, insights and more that Ute taught us!

When asked about how something is in your mind, one must understand that we all have a certain world of reference to orientate ourselves. If you are asked to picture a tree, maybe you picture large pine because you grew up in the forests of North America, or a tall, leafy palm because of your childhood memories in a tropical climate. A tree is a common thing that is different all over the world, and depending on your reference world, it is different from the person next to you. But what if you are asked about something more complex? This is what leads to misunderstandings.

The cultural tree

The cultural iceberg is visually appealing because it portrays the visible spectrum of culture (food, dress, language) in contrast with the invisible spectrum (attitudes, beliefs, values). Instead, Ute advocates a much more comprehensive comparison: a tree. The branches are the behaviours and other aspects of culture you can see, while the roots below are the beliefs that we cannot see. Connecting these metaphorically is the trunk; values that discern between right and wrong. The fruit that the tree bears, and also that we see and take, represents the consequences from these behaviours. Stemming (pun intended) from this metaphor, we engaged in multiple exercises that eventually led us to the helpful anagram of successful communication: SCORE.


Ute and SCORE

Simplify and Specify (avoid complex sentences)
Clarify and Confirm (check that you understand)
Organize and Outline (ensure a clear structure)
Rephrase and Reframe (use different words to say the same thing)
Explain with Examples (give reasons to help the other person see why)

To improve your intercultural communication, you must be aware of your own biases and world of reference. Know and understand your particular communication style, your own preferences, and allow other to communicate in a range of ways. Slow down your response and check your assumptions before responding, and always air on the side of positive intentions. Finally, share the impact of other’s behaviours on you and ask them to do the same.


We would like to give a huge thank you to Ute for her amazing presentation and eye-opening insights on intercultural communication, as well as insights within ourselves. If you would like to contact Ute for her expert services, or send her an email with kudos for today’s workshop, send her an email at info@UtesInternationalLounge.com. Thank you to VrijwilligersAcademie for their assistance in putting on such a great workshop, and of course to all the internationals and Dutch locals who came to participate. We couldn’t do it without you and can't wait to welcome you again soon!

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