There is a common presumption among ex-pat families, in particular, that if you have a choice between primary school in the home language and in English, the latter is the better choice. This ties in to the common myth "earlier is always better" for acquiring a new language, especially through immersion. Let's take a quick … Continue reading Is early English-language education always the right choice?
Two interesting things happened the other day that led me to reflect on family language planning. The first was seeing a session description on a conference website claiming that the job of "family language advisor" is a new field of work that has developed due to the rise in multilingual families. The second was running … Continue reading Reflecting on Family Language Planning
What makes a good bilingual book for children? I get a lot of requests from various companies to partner on my blog, or to have me promote their services or products. I rarely do so, because I rarely find anything worth sharing. But every once and a while I get an email about a … Continue reading Being Bilingual with Betty and Cat books
Every once in a while I come across something that warms the cockles of my heart and delights me professionally at the same time. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of living one of those personal/professional moments. Several years ago I met Mirjam Blumenthal, a speech and language pathologist (SLP) from Koninklijke Kentalis, … Continue reading Speak•a•boo: The future of accessible speech assessment in a multilingual world (Spotlight on Good Practice Series)
It's that time a year again, kids heading off to school all over the world (with the exception of the Antipodeans!). In an increasingly mobile world, many children will be starting at new schools this year, and that may be in a new language. Parents often like to believe that going to school in … Continue reading Top 5 Tips for parents with children starting school in a new language
Every year, all around the world, teachers welcome into their classrooms students that they can not communicate with at all. While it's obviously extremely difficult for the students, it's also hard for the teachers. Every teacher wants to make their new students feel comfortable and happy and ready to learn. And that's really hard to … Continue reading Top 5 tips for learning about your new students when you can’t talk to them…
Most of the Western world celebrates "New Year" on January 1st, as does WordPress. In the academic world, however, our rhythms are different. July signals for me the end of the year, and a time for reflecting on the past academic year and the upcoming year. So I'm going to have my own little celebration … Continue reading My Academic year by the numbers
To reject the child's language in school is to reject the child. Jim Cummins First language, home language, mother tongue, family language... all these terms are used in international education, to try and talk about the languages students bring into schools. But what is implied by all these terms, and how does that affect the … Continue reading Identity language – what’s that? (Spotlight on Good Practice series)
I've been promising for years to write a post about pedagogical translanguaging. In fact, probably about five years! But I always get stuck in the details... I want to present it accurately, and really show how it works. So I created (with the help of Ollydave) this short explainer video, so people can have … Continue reading Wondering about translanguaging?
Next parent seminar in Amsterdam coming up! If you are raising your children with more than one language (or thinking about it), come along and find out the six building blocks for a successful Family Language Plan. This seminar has been developed over a decade of working with bilingual/multilingual families and packs in theoretical background … Continue reading Raising Bilingual (or multilingual!) Children: 6 building blocks for success (May 18)