First, though, let me explain why I’m a lot like this pig here.
The last time we went to the zoo in town, and ventured inside the petting zoo, we saw this pig rooting about in the ground for choice morsels. I don’t do much rooting about in the ground, of course, but when it comes to expanding my knowledge of raising bilingual kids, you’ll find me rooting through my surroundings just as eagerly.
It’s important to remember, I think, that “expertise” isn’t a destination, it’s the journey itself. In other words, expertise is a continuum that has no real end, and we’re all somewhere on that same continuum when it comes to raising bilingual children (or anything else, for matter). The fact is, this subject is so broad and encompasses so many different facets—theory, research, practical ideas, resources—that no one person could ever be considered the definitive “expert.” And this is especially true because the field is continually evolving as we speak, and though the basic insights on bilingualism will likely remain in place, the supply of practical ideas and resources for nurturing language ability in children is inexhaustible.
This is why we can all learn from one another, no matter where we find ourselves on that continuum of expertise. Specialists in bilingualism may be better equipped to discuss theory and research, it’s true, but a big part of this quest involves those practical ideas and resources, and for that, experience itself is key—and everyone seeking to raise a bilingual child has some useful experience to share.
So I’ll go on rooting about for choice morsels, in every direction, because this can only make me more effective at being a parent and a teacher to the bilingual children in my own life.
And, hopefully, it will make this blog more helpful for you as well.
On that note, I’ll now highlight five blogs and websites that have been a source of some choice morsels for me. As time goes by, I’ll share other online resources, too—so feel free to make suggestions, either in a comment below this post or in a personal email.
Life as a Bilingual
A blog maintained at the Psychology Today website by a noted authority on bilingualism, François Grosjean, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of psycholinguistics at Switzerland’s Neuchâtel University. Bilingual himself, Dr. Grosjean writes eloquently, and with rich insight, on an array of topics related to bilingualism. His articles generally appear twice a month.
On Raising Bilingual Children
A blog by Eowyn Crisfield, a Canadian specialist in bilingualism now living in the Netherlands. Writing roughly twice a month, Ms. Crisfield offers sound, encouraging guidance on “best practices” for raising bilingual children. Explore the archives for articles of interest, which date back to July 2011.
A site founded in 2004 by Corey Heller, a parent and researcher raising three bilingual children. Multilingual Living offers a wealth of useful information on raising children in more than one language, including within the pages of its digital publication, Multilingual Living Magazine. (A sample copy can be downloaded freely right here, while all back issues can be accessed at a modest price.) The site also features a fairly active discussion forum.
Multilingual Children’s Association
Another site with a wide variety of helpful content for parents raising children in more than one language. Founded by Christina Bosemark, originally from Sweden and now a resident of San Francisco, she brings together much of the information and insight she gathered in nurturing her own trilingual children. The site includes a discussion forum, too (called “Bulletin Board”).
A colorful “online magazine for parents raising little global citizens.” The brainchild of Stephanie Meade, a professional in international development and the parent of two bilingual children, the site features articles on raising multicultural and multilingual children from a global perspective. Interesting, insightful stories about multicultural families can be found in the column “Real Families.”