Bilingual Success Stories Around the World
Parents Raising Multilingual Kids Share Their Experiences and Encouragement
Bilingual Success Stories Around the World is a real-life roadmap to greater success and joy for any parent raising bilingual or multilingual children. Written by Adam Beck, in the same empowering spirit as his influential first book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability, this practical, worldly-wise guide features the success stories of a wide range of families and details the kinds of attitudes and actions that can enable your family to enjoy the same sort of rewarding success. The focus of this book is on the actual practice of raising children to acquire active ability in more than one language, conveyed through the revealing experiences of parents who are now succeeding admirably at their bilingual or multilingual aim. Read this book for ideas and inspiration to help you realize your own family’s joyful success story!
“The engaging book you’re about to read focuses on parents who are successfully raising children who are fluent in a minority language spoken at home. The book tells the stories of 26 families from across the globe, from China through Poland to California, representing scores of minority languages, from Mongolian in Denmark to Hindi in the United States. The stories tell of dedication, effort, perseverance, and love—love for minority languages, and, above all, love for the children who speak them.”
From the Foreword by Dr. Annick De Houwer, Director of HaBilNet
26 success stories for ideas and inspiration
The contents of this reader-friendly, 252-page book feature the stories of a wide range of families, each story shared in detail in its own chapter. Along with families that might be considered more “traditional” when thinking of bilingual families—such as an international couple with two different native languages—there are also the stories of families in which the parent or parents are non-native speakers of the minority language, a single parent raising a multilingual child, a bilingual child with special needs, and more.
THE EARLY CHILDHOOD YEARS
1. Single Parent Nurtures Early Multilingual Success
2. Music Inspires Joyful Engagement and Progress
3. Intentional Efforts Empower the Journey Even Before Birth
4. Non-native Family Takes Baby Steps Toward Bilingualism
5. Parent Makes Success Possible with Own Language Learning
6. Good Teamwork and the Key Roles Both Parents Play
7. Non-native Parents Immerse Their Home in the Minority Language
8. Persistence Drives Development of a Less Common Language
THE PRIMARY SCHOOL YEARS
9. Early Discouragement Is Transformed into Trilingual Success
10. Strong Actions and Expectations Sustain the Minority Language
11. Commitment and Creativity Overcome the Odds and Tears
12. Passion for the Minority Language, Compassion for Our Children
13. Love of Books and Reading Fuels Language Ability and Literacy
14. Minority Language Family Still Faces Challenging Conditions
15. Progress Grows Over Time, From Failure to Failure
16. Non-native Speaker Keeps Up Efforts at Home and Abroad
17. Building Community and Boosting the Success of Many Families
18. Creative Projects Promote Language Use and Greater Progress
19. Perseverance Amid the Dominance of the Majority Language
20. Bilingual Success and Children with Developmental Differences
THE TEENAGE YEARS AND BEYOND
21. When the Larger Arc of Success Is a Freely Bilingual Family
22. 7 Languages in a Family of 5 (Plus a Secret Language in the Past)
23. Engaging Children in the Minority Language with a Playful Spirit
24. Four Children and Two Different Paths Toward Multilingual Ability
25. Nurturing Good Relationships Alongside Language Ability
26. Handing Down Bilingual Success, From Generation to Generation
EXCERPT FROM THE INTRODUCTION
While every family is, of course, very different, the fact remains that the fundamental challenge of raising bilingual children is largely the same, no matter the location or languages or lifestyle. In a nutshell, it involves providing effective support for the family’s minority language throughout the years of childhood.
Effective support for the minority language means that the child receives ample exposure to this target language, whether from parents or other sources of input, and feels an organic need to use that language actively.
The more language exposure the child receives, in interactive and engaging ways, and the more need the child feels to use that language actively, the more success can be experienced as the bilingual journey proceeds.
Therefore, the two “core conditions” for raising a bilingual child with active ability in the minority language are exposure and need, for without effectively satisfying these conditions, the child will likely not receive enough exposure, or feel enough need, to develop capable and confident ability in this language.
Exposure and need, then, form the deepest thread that stretches throughout this book, tying together the varied lives of these bilingual and multilingual families. None of the families in this book are “perfect” when it comes to the two “core conditions,” but they have each satisfied these conditions to a sufficient degree so that the children have been able to develop active ability in the minority language. Being “perfect” in our efforts is not only impossible, it’s unnecessary for experiencing significant success.
From 5-star reviews at Amazon
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