Posts Tagged bilingual

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

8 Awesome Pinterest Boards for Bilingual Kids

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We love bilingualism and love browsing pinterest. If you're like us, then you will love these awesome pinterest boards related to raising bilingual kids to give you more resources on raising bilingual kids.     This post is sponsored by Piggy Press, an independent multilingual book publisher who publishes books in Spanish or English as the base language with Spanish, Mandarin, Kuna, French and Swedish as the second language. They are awesome and so deeply dedicated to the mission of raising bilingual children for 12 years.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in France: Spanish, French and English

Where are you from?   Maria: California   Samuel: Paris, France   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in together?   Maria:  In a suburb of Paris, France.  Read more »

Is Mixing Languages OK in Bilingual Children?

Dear Dr. Gupta,   We're a British family living in Spain.  Read more »

Sleepovers at Nainai’s Make Me Uneasy—Is it Culture or Me?

It was a moment of weakness.   My mother-in-law (MIL) and I were walking to the post office with my (then) 17-month old daughter in the stroller being pushed in front.  Read more »

Why is My Bilingual Child’s Vocabulary Below Her Peers?

Dear Dr. Gupta,   Some background information first: We are raising our children German-English bilingually in the U.S. I am a native German and I speak German with the kids, but my husband speaks English and pre-school, school, etc. is all in English. There are not many other German-speaking families in the area we live. Our four- and six-year-old girls both speak German (with some grammar mistakes).  Read more »

6 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Raise a Bilingual Child on a Budget

Raising a bilingual child in a country where bilingualism isn't a given can be expensive. When you don't speak a second language, can't afford private immersion school and tutors are too pricey as are the fancy language classes in your community, then what options do you have left? Here are six out-of-the-box ideas for helping you raise a bilingual child on a budget.  Read more »

Should I Improve My Own Language Skills to Teach My Daughter?

Dear Dr Gupta   I have a four-month-old baby who I would dearly love to grow up bilingual, as I never had the opportunity myself. I have spent a lot of time learning languages through classes, travelling and living overseas but have never had a true opportunity to become fluent in any one of them, and am pretty out of practice with all of them now too.  Read more »

Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

You know those moments when you have to pause, take a breath and remind yourself to take it all in? I had one of those language moments last weekend where the figurative waters parted in totally unexpected ways to reveal that all my hard work around my kids' language development is actually paying off.   The well-known bilingual children's musician, Jose-Luis Orozco, performed at our local children's library last weekend.  Read more »

Overheard on the Beijing Subway When People Don’t Think I Speak Mandarin

Now that I’m the exclusive English-language source for my daughter in our home, I do a lot more talking than I used to. Every new language brings out a different side of our personalities and I’ve discovered that I’m a bit less chatty in Chinese, not to mention a lot less funny! (It took my husband travelling back to Canada with me to realize that I have a pretty good knack for making people laugh.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in Italy: Dutch, Dialect of Dutch, Italian and English

Welcome Angelique and Chanel!   Where are you from?   Angelique: I am from Maastricht, the Netherlands.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in?   The Netherlands and now in Italy.   How old is your child and where was she born? What is her cultural heritage?   Chanel is seven.  Read more »

How Should We Teach Reading to a Bilingual Child?

Dear Dr. Gupta,   I have a five-year-old girl who is fluently bilingual. I think she may be French dominant since she speaks to her little sister in French but her English is above average as well so it is hard to tell. I am anglophone and her father is bilingual but his first language is French. He speaks only French with the children and I speak only English.  Read more »

My child has a language delay. Should she learn another language?

Dear Dr. Gupta,   I have always loved learning languages. However, my four-year-old daughter (our only child) has an expressive language delay and tested in the first percentile on a state evaluation. She has been getting speech therapy for the past year and a half, but she is still very far behind other kids her age in that a lot of what she says remains unintelligible.  Read more »

My 3-Year-Old Understands Spanish but Only Speaks English. Help!

Dear Dr. Gupta,   I need some advice. I am from Guatemala but live in Texas. My husband and I have a three-year-old and a two- month-old. We want to raise our daughters bilingual. Our decision was that I would speak in Spanish and he in English. Reality is my three-year-old understands Spanish but only speaks in English. All of her friends and family around speak English.  Read more »

How Immersion Travel Helped My Kids Progress in Spanish

During our trip to Mexico, my children took to Spanish like a fish to water. They have been learning Spanish since September in afterschool time, initially for 20 hours per week and since November for five hours per week.   Our first stop in our 10-day trip was to Puebla for one of my best friend's wedding. My kids had so much fun playing with all the other kids, mostly nieces and cousins of my best friend’s family.  Read more »

English is starting to replace Portuguese. What can I do?

Dear Dr. Gupta,   My three-year-old child speaks English everywhere and with my husband at home, and Portuguese with me. I recently noticed that she is adding more and more English words in her conversation with me and forgetting Portuguese words that are common in her world, such as the names of colors and animals.   I try to correct her gently by repeating the entire sentence she'd just spoken but entirely in Portuguese, and ask her to repeat it.  Read more »

Why OPOL Doesn’t Always Work

When we first had kids, I had understood there were two methods to make them bilingual: OPOL (one parent one language) or mL@H (minority language at home). In the first nine months of my daughter's life, we were OPOL and then some. My husband spoke Arabic to our daughter, I spoke English and we spoke French together. The language of the country was German but the languages of our community of frequent people in our lives were Spanish, German, French and Arabic.  Read more »

8 Tips for Encouraging Bilingualism in Different Personality Types

My girls are playing close by as I’m working on my laptop. Sara, 7, is the lead actress in a production of “princess bride” that seems to be going on in our living room. She is very much in control, giving out directions, talking, laughing and sometimes singing. Her sister, Emma, 11, prefers not to be center stage and mainly speaks to remind her sister of details she has forgotten (like the name of the fiancé).  Read more »

My Language Journey

This past week I was interviewed by Plushkies, a company that makes lovies in the shape of countries, on their blog about raising global kids. They asked me why I think raising global kids is important. I told them it isn't important. It's a necessity. You can read all about it here:   Raising Global Children Day 1: Traveling to Morocco with the Five Senses   And this week another cool thing happened.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Russian, Spanish and English

Welcome Lydia, Abigail and Max!   Where are you from?   Guatemala and Belize. I was born in Guatemala and raised in both countries during some of the worst years of civil war in Guatemala. My dad was Guatemalan and my mom Belizean.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in?   I currently live in Berkeley, California.  Read more »

Do Bilingual Children Know Fewer Words Than Monolinguals?

Linguistic research in young bilingual children has focused on whether multilingual children develop language skills in the same way and at the same speed as monolingual children. Numerous studies in the field have focused on this question by examining different aspects of language, including grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.   A recent article from Diane Poulin-Dubois, Ellen Bialystok and their colleagues (2012), published in the International Journal of Bilingualism, looks at the area of vocabulary.  Read more »

29 Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids

Raising a child with good bilingual ability can be a significant challenge. How do you support the minority language so that it keeps pace with the relentless development of the majority language?   Here are 29 tips for busy parents to help increase the odds of success.   1. Start early If you’re proactive from the start, you’ll stand a much better chance of nurturing a good balance in the child's bilingual ability.  Read more »

Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Z        This page is a way for all of us to share resources for books, websites, music, apps, games and more for raising our bilingual children. These are reader recommendations on resources by language. Many of these products we have not looked into ourselves and therefore they are not endorsements.  Read more »

I Can’t Speak Business in Any Language

None of my languages are business compatible. This morning I was sitting on a train from Paris CDG airport into Paris. I was singing a silly song in my head ("et les meufs et les keufs dans le RER") and started thinking about cultural knowledge and blending in. Listening to the chatter around me, I suddenly realised that as French as I sometimes like to think I can be, there is a massive part of French culture that I can not blend into at all: business.  Read more »

Spanish at the Price of Arabic?

One month ago, we embarked on our official trilingual family journey, introducing over four hours of Spanish daily (via an afterschool program I created) to my oldest, and two hours per day to my youngest (due to different kindergarten and preschool schedules). My goal is for them to be fluent speakers of both Arabic and Spanish. Arabic is the language my husband has spoken to our children since birth, as we have diligently followed the OPOL method.  Read more »

Tipping the Bilingual Scale on Arabic Exposure

A few weeks ago, my husband I spent an inordinate amount of hours at work. It was one of those truly hellish weeks for working parents, where we both had important and long work commitments at exactly the same time, which made for a childcare scramble. Luckily, our babysitter was very accommodating (including arriving at the ungodly hour of 6:30 a.m.  Read more »

The Science Behind Bilingual Children’s Brains

Why start language learning early? With the help of modern technology in neuroscience, we now understand how language develops during infancy and early childhood. Also, based on countless studies, researchers can safely conclude that as your child grows older, her uncanny language abilities decrease significantly. This 'critical period' means that you should strike while the iron is hot! Do babies have super human language skills? Research at the University of Chicago shows that a bird placed in isolation for the first few weeks of its life never learns the song of its species properly and will thus be unable to uphold a territory or woo a mate.  Read more »

When Trilingual is Not Necessarily Better than Bilingual

Dear Dr. Gupta: My partner and I are expecting and we are trying to determine a language plan now. I am a native English speaker, my partner is a native Italian speaker who also speaks Spanish and English fluently; he speaks Spanish better than English. We live in an English-speaking country but in an area where Spanish is widely spoken. There are limited opportunities to speak Italian, but he does have some friends who speak Italian, we Skype often with his family and we will visit Italy often.  Read more »

Bilingual Parenting: Five Strategies to Start Now

When I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts was “I can’t wait to raise this child to speak French.” I am a native English speaker, and I’ve been a Francophile since I was a young girl. My love of the French language and Francophone cultures has largely shaped my career, my travel and my interests. Although I was committed to raising a bilingual child, I never actually thought about how to go about it, especially in the very young, preverbal stages.  Read more »

Diary of a Bilingual Spanish School

In “Fostering Bilingual Education through Two-Way Immersion,” we describe how a constructivist curriculum and a multicultural approach to dual immersion led to the success of a two-way Spanish immersion program.  The following narratives offer vivid evidence of why this is so. They illustrate, over the course of a school year, how bilingual instruction was blended with constructivist pedagogy adapted to the needs of second-language learners and how this combination was not only natural but necessary.  Read more »

Bilingual Writers and Colonialism

It's funny how things go sometimes. After reading Francois Grosjean's recent article about Cherishing the Multilingual Heart, I started looking for authors that are multilingual. I have to admit that I didn't get very far, but I didn't have to: Francois Grosjean looked as well and he found quite a few amazing bilingual writers. It's a compelling list, full of names that are bound to make any multilingual proud, whether they are writing or not.  Read more »

Multilingual Children for Money or Love?

My husband and I are the typical young family starting out our journey into parenthood. Like all parents, we want what is best for our children and thus, spend quite a bit of time researching everything from cribs and mattresses to baby food and stimulating toys.  But we also research something else: how to raise trilingual children.  Our ethnic backgrounds set us apart from many other parents around us in Suburban Michigan, as my husband is Lebanese and I am Mexican.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: German and English

Welcome Latifa and Kaila! Where are you from? I am American. I was born and raised in Michigan from Italian, Maltese and French Canadian heritage. The Italian and Maltese (father’s side) seems the strongest on the outside, but my mother's gentle spiritual silence runs strong underneath. Kaila was born in Switzerland, and has lived in the U.S. since she was 10 months old.  Read more »

François Grosjean Responds: Cherishing the Multilingual Heart

At the end of last year, the title of a post by Jan Petersen on InCultureParent caught my attention: "How Francois Grosjean Broke My Multilingual Heart." I was troubled at first as I have defended bi- and multilinguals most of my academic life, not broken their hearts! So I read on and immediately felt reassured....and exonerated. I wasn't really the one who had broken Jan Petersen's heart in my Psychology Today post, "Helen or Hélène.  Read more »

Progress Report: Mission Arabic-Speaking Babysitter

This past week, we have had our new Arabic-speaking babysitter everyday for a total of 12 hours all week. From day one, she told me the girls understand her 100%, which we know already, it is just their speaking Arabic that has been problematic. In case you missed it, I talked all about that in "All I Want For Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children.  Read more »

Raising Bilingual Children in Non-Native Language: Tools for Parents

So your kids have a ton of target language DVDs, books, websites and toys to fast-track their bilingualism, but what about you, the parent? If the target language isn't your native one, you'll be wanting to maintain and improve it any chance you get. But as we all know, being a parent doesn't give you the luxury of long stretches of free time for language-learning! The best way to keep up your language skills is to work it into your day-to-day life.  Read more »

Osmosis of Language

By the age of four, I had lived in three different countries and spoke pieces of three different languages. I was born in the former Soviet Union to an East German father and a Peruvian mother. My parents were university students in present day Ukraine and they communicated with each other in their only common language at that time, Russian. My first words were in Russian, although my father always addressed me in German and my mother in Spanish.  Read more »

Why I Want My Children to be Multilingual

Question: why is it important to me that my kids speak more than one language? I have to admit that I never really thought about this. When I married an Algerian woman I must have assumed my children would be multilingual. Or maybe I was so unprepared that I actually didn't have an opinion. But in hindsight it is obvious that there really was no choice for me.  Read more »

Reinforcing the Minority Language

Early on, I read quite a bit about language acquisition and discovered that children need interactive language exposure in order to learn a language. This means that sitting your child in front of the television to watch minority language (ml) programs alone will not teach them that language. Your child needs to be highly motivated to actually use the language in order to learn it, which is only possible if they are brought into contact with people who speak it and who they want or need to communicate with.  Read more »

Life in the Middle

It's only from a distance of months or years or decades that you can look back and see how one apparently small decision nudged the course of your life in a totally unexpected direction. I don't really know why I decided to take French my sophomore year in high school. I grew up on the Mexican border; it would have been much more practical to take Spanish.  Read more »
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For quite sometime, whenever there were articles that surfaced the internet concerning whether it was appropriate to breastfeed in public, I was so baffled. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that som...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
For quite some whenever there was articles circulated on the internet concerning whether it is appropriate to breastfeed in public. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that some countries considered i...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
I live with my Czech in laws with my four children and my Czech is crap I try to learn but the baby doesn't sleep well I'm a constant zombie and the brain just doesn't work. Plus being tired makes m...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I am so glad I found this site. I am happy to see that I am not alone in experiencing 'family issues' after getting married. I am not from the West but I am married to a Canadian. I never truly unde...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
[…] my most favourite article about breastfeeding called Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan by Ruth Kamnitzer. I have no doubt that Mongolians would find our social stigmas around [R...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] sources and reasons for the rules of these countries too, such as China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, and Hungary (see above re “Titanic”).  Has anyone got s...
From International Baby Naming Laws–Are They a Good Thing?
[…] Source Inculture Parents […...
From Lotus Lanterns for Wesak (Buddha Day)
If your nerves shat down your hormones , can you get pregnant by injecting a sperm in you to develop a baby . Please let me know...
From Baby-Making the Hindu Way
[…] Diwali Lantern from InCultureParent […...
From Diwali Craft: Make a Lantern
Another great African American children's book is "Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters" Book by Fredrick McKissack, Jr. and Patricia McKissack A great DVD is Santa and pe...
From 11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa
[…] the father waits to speak Swahili to the child, the more risk he runs of her not ever learning it, which is true. The more he waits, the more risk he runs of her associating English with h...
From Why Your Bilingual Child Objects When You Switch Languages
This is really great! I wanted to do a book list for some of my friends and family about Kwanzaa. Thank you for this articl...
From 11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa
This was interesting. My twin girls are 15 months, and although they are very verbal, we do not understand what they're saying. I'm American and their dad is French, and we live in France. I speak o...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/03/breastfeeding-around-the-world/#slide1 […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/02/breastfeeding-land-genghis-khan/ […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
[…]                 http://www.incultureparent.com/2014/07/why-african-toddlers-dont-have-tantrums/ […...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
[…] Any content provided on this blog is opinion based with selected information from various sources where indicated. Image: http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/01/imbolc-craft-st-brigids-cro...
From Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross
Or you could have had a beautiful white baby with a man from your own culture. Not enough drama in tha...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
Crystal, thanks for sharing your experiences. It makes for a fascinating read! The link to the Siddha school you provided seems to be no longer working. Is the school still ther...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
[…] but which colour to choose? Biome has 25% off storewide till midnight tonight with the code BIOME25 why African babies don’t cry – an absolutely brilliant […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2014/06/6-childrens-books-to-celebrate-juneteenth/ […...
From 6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth
I love this website and its insight on raising global citizens. I agree with what you say about no one English accent being correct - the thing that I was surprised by in this article was the fact ...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Why are Germans thinking about being rude? Do You All want to be Just A Coarse-Face? If all of you deviate from Universalism, there is much more to fear from the world than you expec...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] 3 Children’s Books from the Himalayas at InCultureParent […...
From 3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas
[…] How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race […...
From How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race
[…] don’t Need a Room. The baby room is certainly a modern invention. For much of history, and in other parts of the world today, babies […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Addressing the "grown up time" someone mentioned earlier...am sure that many people address this differently with what works for their family. However, suffice it to say that when the baby's in your...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
[…] were taught to whistle – but other people use other sounds. Most people seem to shush or to hiss. It doesn’t really matter. You could probably sing “La Cucaracha” and it would stil...
From Thanks to Chinese Potty-Training We’re Done With Diapers at 19 Months
Thanks for the article! I tried to put my newborn twins into a bassinet at birth, but there was just no way! No way to breastfeed and no way to survive the nights with two of them waking me up all...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Olga, witam!:) what a fresh approach this has given me on such a day like today! I'm Half polish being polish from my mothers side and as this is the language that I ident myself with, I decided to ...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
[…] the talk at school. You can see an example of bilingual twins’ language use in this article from InCultureParent and this Q&A on Twins List. Also, as you say, convincing them to spea...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
Thank you SOO much for sharing!!!! I have breastfed my twins for 3 years now and still going. It has been a struggle, especially with family members like my mother in law who wished I weaned at 2 m...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep