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
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. – Ludwig Wittgenstein One of the main reasons I started doing seminars for parents was the lack of information among many monolinguals in our community about the benefits of bilingualism. In the expat world, we meet many, many bilingual families, but there are also … Continue reading #IMLD: Top 5 Reasons to Choose Bilingualism for your Child
As we come to the end of the school year I've been reflecting on how much the school impacts successful bilingual development. Most schools are not "bilingual" schools, or "immersion" schools, or indeed any kind of language-based school model. Many schools believe that their only job is to ensure that all their pupils master the … Continue reading Five ways your school can support multilingualism
This topic came to me through a seminar attendee, and it is a question being posed by more and more families, as the rates of international adoption rise. Children adopted from "abroad" arrive in their new homes speaking a different language, and have a great need to learn their new language quickly, in order to … Continue reading Adoption and Language Issues: Should our children be bilingual?
As I have mentioned previously, I am working with Dr. Jane Spiro from Oxford Brookes university on a teacher-training based research project this year. We are halfway through the training year, and it's been both exciting and moving to see how the school and teachers are taking on-board the ideals behind the program of being … Continue reading Mother Tongue reading: A “Beyond EAL” project update
If bilingualism is the ability to be able to use two or more languages, is literacy a necessary part of this? Do you need to be able to read and write a language to qualify as "bilingual"? And if you would like your children to be literate in two or more languages, how do you … Continue reading Bilingual = Biliterate?
This post was inspired by a reader question, one that I think may be of interest to many minority language parents. A Greek couple have just moved to the UK with their young son (almost 3-years old). They are being encouraged by the nursery to use English at home with him, to help him "learn … Continue reading Using the “second language” at home: What’s the etiquette?
One of the great things to come out of whole-school professional development is that it helps all staff be on the same page when it comes to lettingkids speak their L1 (first language) at school. That may sound obvious, but unfortunately, it isn't. Far too often I hear of, or come across, schools with a … Continue reading “You can’t speak that language here!”
As I head into a new school year, new projects are starting up. This year is a very exciting one here at Crisfield Educational Consulting (well, sounds impressive but it's only me!). In addition to continuing the work I have been doing with families for almost ten years (seminars, family language planning) I am also … Continue reading Beyond EAL: What’s it all about?
More parents are recognizing the benefits of bilingualism for their children, but not everyone has easy or automatic access to a second or additional language for their children. In some of these cases, both parents share one language, but also speak at least one other language that they have "learned". There is a common myth … Continue reading “I’m not a native speaker – is that okay?”