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Some common questions people think about... if not always verbalize... when they first join the list are:

"What can I say and not say on The List ?
Basically, you can say anything you like.... as long as it is not offensive.

"What would happen if what I said was considered offensive?"
Members would generally comment first... on The List or privately... then if you were persistently offensive you would receive a warning and any further offence might lead to you being struck off The List.   However, it rarely comes to that.

What kind of topics do we discuss here?
Primarily - everything to do with raising children in more than one language. We ask each other for advice, share our experiences, the bad ones as well as the good ones. Then anyone who comes across a good resource on the net or in a bookstore usually runs to their computer to share it with the rest of the group :-) .

As many of the listmembers are living in a country that is not their native land, or in a culture very different from their home culture, it is not uncommon for different kinds of (multi)cultural subjects to pop up from time to time.

Many members use their languages in connection with their professions, so there are sometimes discussions on the subject of the languages themselves.

"Do I have to stick rigidly to the topic?"
If you did you would probably be the only one who does :-)

However, it is considered good etiquette on "The List"  to clearly mark your headings when you change the subject... or else to alert people to the fact that your current contribution has gone off topic.  So, a thread about Bilingual Secondary Education might inspire you to comment on say "Bullying".   The thing to do here would be to write a new message (not using the reply to sender or return button), then type "Bullying-  (Was Bilingual Secondary Education)"  in the topic box.  Clearly defining the topic is a great aid for people who have not got the time to read all of the many contributions to "The List" that arrive daily.  If you think that your topic fits in with the main topic of the thread you can simply use the return or reply to sender button and your contribution will become part of the current thread, but it is still considered good manners to clearly show in the subject-line if  the subject has been slightly changed ("English Children Songs (was - International Children Songs) ).

If you have a feeling that your subject is off-topic from the list, please declare this by typing "OFF-TOPIC" or "OT" before the subject in the subject field. For example "OFF-TOPIC - What should I do with my cat when I move?".

"How often can I contribute?"
There are no limits... other than those you would find in any other debating forum.  Hogging the floor does not always mean you get listened to... especially in a forum where people can simply press "Delete" whenever they see your name :-)

"When are topics considered to be finished?"
Topics... known as Threads on "The List" come and go.  When they have exhausted their usefulness is not always clear... it is often a very subjective thing.  However, if all other members stop contributing to a thread except you and one other... you should perhaps think about taking the topic "off-list" and discuss it with that person privately.

"Help, my mailbox is getting full, and I can't catch up with all this mail!!!"
This can easily happen. Activity of the list fluctuates a lot. There can be several days with only a few postings, then suddenly if there are some interesting discussions going on you may receive as many as 60-80 per day... If it's getting too much for you we would advise you to change to the Digest Version of the List. This comes once or twice a day (depending on how much traffic there is). Each digest is a single mailing with all of the current postings as attachments.  It includes an index of topics, so you can click on the ones that you think are of interest to you and not bother opening the rest. To subscribe to the digest version send a blank mail to . If you choose to switch to the digest version, don't forget to unsubscribe from the "single-mode" list, which you do by sending an empty mail to

"What is the meaning of life?"
Stick around "The List" long enough and you'll probably get lots of pointers on that one.
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