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!
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: 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. Should we choose a local school for our children, or an English-language international school? A. This is a common question, as more families are faced with choices of living locally or holding on to international possibilities. It's also a complicated question, as there are many factors that determine the right answer for any family, … Continue reading Local language versus English education?
I made my first blog post here exactly 6.5 years ago today, and since then I have posted 195 times (not all original content), for an average of not quite 2 posts a month. I've had periods when I posted more frequently, and periods when I posted less, always of course linked to how busy … Continue reading 2018: The Year of the Q&A
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