My Academic year by the numbers

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 here, to mark the end of the 2016-2017 academic year, and give me food for thought about my plans and priorities for the 2017-2018 academic year. So here is my year, by the numbers:

42: Number of flights I have taken this year for work purposes, to

14 countries, on

3 continents, to visit

31 schools, for training, meetings, school audits, parent sessions, and give

9 conference and symposium presentations.

45,000 words written for my upcoming co-authored book “Linguistic and Cultural Innovation in Schools: The Language Challenge” – published by Palgrave Macmillan, due to hit the shelves November 2017

27,751 visits to my blog, from

158 countries, to read

18 blog posts

19 “Raising Bilingual Children: 6 building blocks for success” seminars delivered

22 new textbooks/research books purchased and read

3 heroes met and conversed with: Jim Cummins, Fred Genesee, Stephen Krashen (you can read my article about it here)

244 tweets from my first year using Twitter (@4bilingualism)

So that is pretty much my 2016-2017 academic year, summed through the beauty of a list of numbers. Now to ponder which numbers I want to work on for the next academic year – what you do think I should be doing?

Back to blogging? Send your question….

You may have noticed (if you notice these things…) that’s it been a bit quiet on my end these days. I keep telling myself that I will blog “manyana” and well manyana never comes…. it’s not for lack of interest, it’s really just for lack of time (and sometimes inspiration).

Cue drum roll for excuses… I’ve just been really, really busy… Good busy, but busy nonetheless. I now lecture two days a week in a pre-service teacher training program (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), which gives me the opportunity to try and impact attitudes and practice about bilingualism in schools, which I think is so important. And I’ve had the chance to work with so many great schools over the last couple of years, from the German European School of Singapore to the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa and also local schools in the Netherlands as well. So it’s not that I’ve stopped caring about bilingualism and bilingual education, it’s just that I’m so busy talking about it that I have no time to write about it!

I’m planning several upcoming posts on schools and school issues, inspired by some of my work over the last year. I’d be delighted to write more posts for parents as well, but I am sadly lacking inspiration for new topics (I’ve written so many already!). If you are a parent with a question about your child’s bilingualism, or your plan, and you’d be happy to have me answer in blog form (no names or identifying information) – please do send on your question! You can use the contact form on the site, or email me directly at

Tot ziens!