Friends, I hope the new year has begun well for you and your family and that you enjoy a lot of rewarding progress on your bilingual or multilingual journey in 2020! The many resources I offer are always available to you and, beyond that, I’m just an email away!
For me, it looks like 2020 will be a busy year of mischief making because I’ve decided to focus as fully as I can on my work in the field of bilingual/multilingual children. The truth is, this year is a kind of crossroads for me because either I’m able to make more progress toward the greater goal of doing this work in a sustainable way or I may need to consider other options. But before it comes to that, I want to give my goal of sustainability in this field the best try I can. So 2020 is an important year and my efforts will include…
Renewing the Bilingual Monkeys website
I launched Bilingual Monkeys in the fall of 2012, so it’s now over 7 years old and the tech side of the site is aging badly. This means that it isn’t growing or performing as well as it could. While I was able to build this blog myself (using WordPress), it’s now a pretty big site, with 435 posts and 3420 comments, and I’ll need to bring in a web designer/developer to help me with this project. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it—I fear it will be a lot of work—but it has to be done!
Writing and publishing three new books
I’m now working on three new book projects for my Bilingual Adventures publishing imprint: two of them are of moderate size but the other is a huge challenge.
Bilingual World (tentative title) is that huge challenge. This book is a collection of “success stories” from parents of bilingual and multilingual children around the world. While I love the work itself—particularly the engaging conversations I’ve had with so many parents, in person and via Skype—it’s *a lot* of work. For the next few months I’ll be spending 20 hours a week at the college library in my area so I can concentrate on writing, writing, and writing.
I’M SO GLAD I’M BILINGUAL! will be a follow-up to the “picture book for adults” that I recently released titled I WANT TO BE BILINGUAL!. This new book will also be a picture book, but it’s for children and their parents or teachers. The aim of the book is to help children recognize and appreciate the many positive things about being bilingual, which I think can fortify their self-image and motivation for this journey.
Bilingual Fairy Tales & Fables will offer 30 well-known stories, in both English and Spanish, at an easy-reading level for children and language learners. I’ve already written the stories in English and Delia Berlin, an accomplished bilingual writer, is now working on the Spanish translation. If this book turns out well, I may consider publishing the same book in more language combinations.
Releasing the first translated edition of one of my books
This year will also bring the release of the first translated edition of my book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability. It’s now being translated into Polish and I’ll be really thrilled when I finally see the completed book! (Even though I won’t be able to read it!) I hope it can help more Polish families, whether living in Poland or elsewhere in the world, realize greater success and joy raising bilingual kids.
Pursuing more travel and speaking opportunities
Although producing more good books is my highest priority for this year, I’m also eager to continue getting out into the world, meeting bilingual/multilingual families in person, and speaking about this subject at conferences and other events. In fact, I’ve been invited to speak at a conference on “Raising Multilingual Children” in Athens on March 29 so I’ll be there from March 25-31. (Here’s a link to the conference website, but it doesn’t have many specifics yet: https://icma.gr) After Athens, I’ll then be in Helsinki from April 1-5 before flying back to Hiroshima. (My mother’s side of the family was from Finland, a place I’ve never been to (in fact, as a child, my mother was bilingual in Finnish and English!), and I’d like to meet one or two families there, too.) Of course, I’d also be happy to see any of you in Athens or in Helsinki!
Returning to personal coaching, in person and online
Now that my children are getting older and more independent (translation: they don’t want to spend as much time with me!), I’d like to return to one of my very favorite aspects of this work: coaching parents toward experiencing more success and joy on their bilingual or multilingual journey. The truth is, I love speaking with parents about their experiences, and providing support in any way I can, so I’m now preparing the specifics of this new coaching program and I’ll share them with you soon. (In the meantime, if you’re eager for this kind of personal support, I’ll still be glad to help. Just email me with your request.)
Offering more content at my blog, forum, and YouTube channel
At the same time, I’ll do what I can to continue offering useful new content at Bilingual Monkeys, The Bilingual Zoo, and Bilingual Monkeys TV. Though I may not be blogging regularly, the many members of the lively Bilingual Zoo (and you’re invited to join us, it’s free) have made this forum an incredibly helpful resource for parents raising bilingual and multilingual children. Meanwhile, I’ll also make an extra effort to add new videos to my YouTube channel, which I’ve neglected for a while.
Making more active efforts on social media
It has been hard for me to stay as active on social media—on Facebook and on Twitter—as I would like. In particular, I want to do a lot more sharing of other people’s useful content. But to actually accomplish this, I’ll need help—an assistant of some kind—because it isn’t realistic for me to think that I can do it alone. So this is something that I’m now pursuing and I hope I’ll soon be able to do better in this area in the near future.
So, yes, 2020 will obviously be a busy year! Still, I’ll do my best, day by day, to make progress in these many areas. And then, later this year, we’ll see where things stand when it comes to my work in 2021.
Thank you for being a part of all this! My work in this field, since I began my blog nearly 8 years ago, has been full of so many good experiences and good people. Nothing lasts forever, but this stage of my life has been very special and I hope it can continue for some time to come.