It's been eight years since I wrote my first post about International Mother Language Day. It doesn't seem like very long, but over that time there has been a shift in many areas, towards a more positive attitude about language diversity in schools. When I first started working with families in 2004, it was common … Continue reading International Mother Language Day
How do children learn to talk? Have fun finding out at the Kletskoppen Child Language Festival on Sunday 29th September in the Central Library. A day of science for the whole family, filled with interactive demonstrations, educational games and (multilingual) book readings, and all for free! There will also be the musical performance Dikkie Dik en … Continue reading Child Language Festival in The Hague!
I'm making a return trip to the Netherlands to visit my favourite schools, and fitting in an open seminar for parents at Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam on Monday, Sept. 30. This seminar is for parents who are raising children with two or more languages, and are looking for the right advice on what they … Continue reading Parent seminar in Amsterdam!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com While kids are usually delighted to start summer holidays, educators know that the long summer break comes at a cost. We call it summer learning loss, and it's an issue for all students. During the summer holidays, children's academic skills suffer, and they lose content knowledge as well as skills. … Continue reading Summer language loss: what can parents do?
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the always-contentious fact that earlier is not necessarily better when it comes to acquiring a second (third, fourth, etc.) language. This post aims to help clarify what might be the right time, based on a parent question. We would like our children to have both our language … Continue reading So what is the right time for L2 education?
Much is made of the mythical sponge-like capacity of babies and children to learn multiple languages. Add this to the on-going quest to prove that bi/multilingualism is the cognitive brain boost that will have our children beating back Harvard and Cambridge, and you have a recipe for stress. I've met children who speak 2 languages … Continue reading Is earlier always better?
I visit schools all over the world that are filled with language learners. International education is on the rise, and these schools tend to be heavily populated with students who are learning the language of instruction. One thing I am always struck by is how many parents have a very laissez-faire attitude about the … Continue reading Don’t forget about your own language!
One of the most frustrating myths about child bilingualism is that learning a new language is effortless for children - drop them into a new language environment and they just absorb the new language like a sponge! This myth has several negative effects. The first is that parents often don't take into account the time … Continue reading Children are *not* little sponges!
A lot of writing on the Internet will propose OPOL (One-parent, one-language) as the best strategy for raising bilingual children. I've written here before about why I believe this is not the case (although it can work in some situations) and now there is research backing up the limitations of this approach. Follow … Continue reading Issues with OPOL? You are not alone!
Back by popular demand, May 31, 20:00-22:00 at the Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam! My “Raising Bilingual Children” seminar is one of my favourites; I’ve been working on it for years, and each family I meet contributes to my understanding on bilingual/multilingual families and adds to my “book learning” and research background. I pack as … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success (Amsterdam)