A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about why "heritage" languages are important, which came out of conversations with families trying to pass on a language with little "usefulness" but great emotional significance. Some of the most emotional stories I've heard over the years have been from adults who should have been raised bilingual, … Continue reading Recovering heritage languages: rediscovering your “whole self”
Obviously this applies to Cantonese-speaking parents... 🙂 but the underlying principle is the same, no matter what your home language is. I've been thinking about this issue since I visited Hong Kong in March, and met with many lovely parents who were all attempting to raise their children to be bilingual. So what's wrong with … Continue reading Please, speak Cantonese to your children!
It's that time a year again... once the school year is up and running, parents start thinking about how things are going with their little bilingual children. I meet more parents in the Sept-Nov block than at any other time of year! I visit many schools to provide parents with an opportunity to learn more … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success (Amsterdam)
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... … Continue reading Back to blogging? Send your question….
On average, it took the students 3.8 years to reach English proficiency. But over the course of the study, almost 20 percent of students did not score high enough on the state exam to be reclassified. This is such a big question in education these days; how long does it take learners to become proficient … Continue reading How Long Does It Take ELLs to Develop English Proficiency? – Learning the Language – Education Week
It's Spring time (even if it doesn't feel like it yet...) and that means it's time for my semi-annual trip to the welcoming Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam. This seminar is for parents who are thinking about, or have already chosen bilingualism/multilingualism for their children. It's a little bit of theory (but fun, I promise) … Continue reading New Seminar Date: Raising Bilingual Children (Amsterdam, April 16)
Every family raising bilingual children needs to have, at the very least, one family language plan. Ideally, they should start the planning process at the same time as they start all the other planning for baby preparations - during pregnancy. A family language plan is a longitudinal plan that follows a child from birth (or … Continue reading Family Language Plan: When and why?
This is revised from a previous post, and is for all the Dads out there wondering why they are being left out of the party... Traditionally, bilingualism research used the term "Mother Tongue" to describe the language spoken by the mother. Because there is no use of "Father Tongue" there is an implication that the … Continue reading Mother Tongue, Father Tongue?
This post was inspired by a reader question, and fits well with the theme of the month, so I am putting my thoughts in a post. This family is from the Middle East, and has Arabic and English as the two languages in their language plan. They began their family in the Middle East and … Continue reading When the Mother Tongue becomes a minority language: Changing your family plan
One of the best thing about being bilingual is being able to pick and choose le juste mot - to say exactly what you want to say. Some of the greatest words in language relate to how people think and see the world, so it follows that some things just can't be said "right" in … Continue reading Being Bilingual: Words I like from other languages