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)
A. It depends! One of the key factors in successful bilingualism-for-life is being able to read and write a language. Parents pass down a language mainly orally, which is a natural pattern of language use in a family. Trying to teach your children to read and write in your language is not always easy, and … Continue reading Q: Should I send my child to Saturday School?
A: Absolutely not! I work with a lot of internationally living parents, and this is a common misconception; that it would be more valuable for them to use English with their children, to make sure they have English as a "mother tongue". I've even met families who want me to help them change their … Continue reading Q: Isn’t English more important than my language?
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 much good information as possible into the 2-hour session, along with some moments … Continue reading Seminar: Raising bilingual (and multilingual!) children: Six building blocks for success (April 12)
Q: My older child is having difficulties in school, especially with reading and writing and it's not clear why. Is it is because of language, or something else? A. This is a question that is hard to answer generally, and usually requires input on a case-by-case basis. Once children are past their initial phases of … Continue reading Is it language or learning?