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Guest Posts

Guest Post: My PhD Thesis on the Language Strategies of Bilingual Families

As I watch my British-Spanish daughters, now 14 and 12, chat away in English with their British relatives while on holiday in England, I look back at our bilingual journey and feel incredibly proud of what we have achieved. Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, our daughters were initially expected—by us and everyone around us—to become bilingual just by having a British father and a Spanish mother, with no extra effort on the side. However, as we know, “magic bilingualism” does not exist

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Guest Post: Our Successful Playgroup for Minority Language Families

I’ve always believed that language has a very important social component and I wanted my children to feel that Spanish was a language that allowed them to communicate not only with their mother and their family in Spain, but also with other children and families around them here in Germany. So, in the summer of 2010, when my eldest was about a year and a half

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Guest Post: What Does It Take to Raise a Multi-literate Child?

“AAAAAH ha ha ha ha!!” I was woken up by my sons laughing while reading Super Chien (the French version of Dog Man by Dav Pilkey). Most nights, I’m the one reading a bedtime story to my sons…and I also tend to fall asleep while doing so! But now, my eldest reads French (our minority language, along with Korean) quite fluently

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Guest Post: My Son Is a Language Superhero, Even If He Doesn’t Know It Yet

My son is trilingual: he speaks English, Arabic, and Urdu. That’s a pretty cool super power. Passing it on hasn’t always been easy, especially living in the United States where we don’t need to speak other languages. This article lays out some tricks and challenges I’ve faced teaching Arabic (not to leave out my wife, but I don’t want to be putting words in her mouth). But I’ll start with a key idea: our son speaks these languages because he

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Guest Post: Alice in a Bilingual Wonderland – How to Nurture the Minority Language with Creativity and Mindset

Prologue Alice looked like my dad. She was seven seconds old and lay on my wife Bénédicte’s stomach, staring at me through cloudy eyes. That was a relief; not the cloudy eyes, the looking like my Dad. Definitely a Fielding, unquestionably half-English. Béné leaned over and kissed Alice’s mushy head and whispered, “Bonjour ma Belle,” into her left ear. I leaned over, my life having changed forever, and said, “Hello Alice, welcome to the world,” into her right ear. And

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Guest Post: The Multilingual, Multicultural Life of a Third Culture Kid

The life of a Third Culture Kid (TCK) can be fraught with the challenges of speaking one or more (often, minority) languages and straddling two or more cultures. When a family with a TCK finds itself moving across countries frequently, this adds more complexity to the family dynamic in terms of language and communication. Like many families out there, our family has had to respond to these complexities each time we have moved. And we have moved countries three times

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Guest Post: Non-native Speakers Can Bring Up Bilingual Kids, Too!

Though my husband and I are Polish, and we live in Poland—a largely monolingual country—the language that we use with our two children is English. Because we believe strongly that bilingualism is so beneficial, we think it’s worth pursuing even if your knowledge of the target language isn’t “inborn” but acquired. In other words… Non-native speakers can bring up bilingual kids, too! And I’m happy to say that we’re experiencing success at our bilingual aim. The other night I was

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Guest Post: How a Monolingual Family Became a Bilingual Family

Konnichiwa! (That’s hello in Japanese!) If you had met me four years ago, I could only have greeted you in English and (maybe) Spanish…from the few Spanish words I learned from sleeping through my Spanish class in high school. I wasn’t interested in learning another language and never realized the opportunities and depth that can come with it. Moving to Japan I am—well, was—a monolingual mom from a completely monolingual family. We’re a military family and, to our dismay—at least

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Guest Post: Raising Bilingual Kids in Challenging Conditions Can Ignite a Parent’s Creativity

I have always liked the scene in the Disney movie “Big Hero 6” where, in a moment when the younger brother was feeling hopeless and out of ideas for a big project, the older brother carried him on his shoulders and turned him upside down to shake him and move him around their bedroom, encouraging him to look at things from another angle. Every now and then I feel like I need that kind of shaking up to reset and

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Guest Post: Bilingual Ability Is Always a Positive Thing

Like all of you, I’m doing the best I can to ensure that my daughter (the little fairy above) grows to enjoy the benefits of speaking more than one language, and hopefully she’ll do the same with her own children in the future. At the moment she’s three years old and is a lovely, funny little girl and (at least so far) seems very interested in languages. My own interest in bilingualism/multilingualism is both personal and professional. I did my

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