When I was in Hong Kong last week and meeting with parents and teachers, the subject of discussion was often the issues raised in my previous blog post about HK parents choosing to speak English with their children rather than Cantonese. Inevitably, someone would ask how we can change this pattern of choosing the higher-status … Continue reading Promoting home language use: How do we make a difference?
A brief announcement that on Thursday, October 27, I will be returning to the Jacaranda Tree Montessori in Amsterdam, for an open seminar "Raising Bilingual Children: Six building blocks for success". This is my most popular seminar, and mainly given at schools, so an open event is rare! In the two-hour session we will look … Continue reading Raising Bilingual Children: Parent seminar (Amsterdam)
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”
I feel like I can not be half of myself. I've heard variations of those words so many times over my career as a consultant, from adults all over the world, all referencing the fact that they do not speak the language of one (or both) of their parents. Many of them are children of … Continue reading Keeping the window open: why “heritage” languages are important too
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!
Aboriginal people have a right to language. Unless we do something in this generation the languages will die in the next generation -- the generation of my daughter. -- Lorena Fontaine, PhD student at the University of Manitoba As a Canadian living abroad, I tend to focus on all the good things about our history and have an admittedly Pollyanna … Continue reading Learning from the past?
Mother tongue promotion in the school helps develop not only the mother tongue but also children’s abilities in the majority school language. (Cummins, J. 2001) This year I am celebrating International Mother Language Day at home, speaking many languages with my own children - mother, father and other. Last year, for IMLD 2015, I had … Continue reading International Mother Language Day: Putting your money where your mouth is!
I've been very absent from my blog for the last year, and have been thinking about a good post to start the new year. I have a back-log of ideas in my brain and none was "the one". Then I saw this video on FB (thanks to Ellen-Rose Kambel from the Rutu Foundation) and found … Continue reading Supporting multilingualism in schools: Spotlight on best practice
This is a great article about bilingual advocate Diane Rodriguez. She is working on improving provisions in US schools for newly arrived immigrant children who do not speak English. Schools often see these learners in a very one-dimensional way - they are "English-language learners", and therefore the focus is on teaching them English. Her point, … Continue reading Professor Calls for Bilingual Education Services to Go Beyond English Instruction
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?