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Ideas

Forget Fluency! Instead, Make This Your Goal When Raising Bilingual Kids.

This year my daughter, now 18, has taken two English proficiency tests. (English is her minority language; Japanese is her majority language.) The first was the highest level of the EIKEN seven-level test, which is widely used in Japan and is essentially a pass-or-fail sort of exam. And the second test, because she’s now applying to university programs in Japan that emphasize English, was the TOEFL

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Bilingual Success Stories #7: Non-Native Parents of English Raise Actively English-Speaking Kids

The bilingual journey of this Spanish family is an encouraging example, in a number of ways, of non-native parents nurturing early success. It shows that, despite being non-native speakers of the target language who acknowledge shortcomings in their own language skills, Cristina and Pedro have nevertheless been able to generate significant progress in their children’s bilingual ability through their attitude and actions. And even when faced with difficulties along the way

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Bilingual Success Stories #17: Building Community and Boosting the Success of Many Families

I recently shared Marta Garcia’s encouraging guest post Our Successful Playgroup for Minority Language Families and thought I would now follow up by offering the full story of her rewarding experience raising three bilingual children. Her family’s story, along with the inspiring, in-depth stories of 25 other families, is featured in Bilingual Success Stories Around the World: Parents Raising Multilingual Kids Share Their Experiences and Encouragement.

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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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Podcast Episode: The Gift of Bilingualism

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dolores Guiñazú, the executive director of Lift Value, a company that provides a range of helpful language services to clients worldwide. Dolores also offers a very thoughtful podcast called Attitudeable and I was honored to join her to share my personal perspective on raising bilingual children.

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Recommended Resources: “The Toolbox for Multilingual Families” Offers 123 Practical and Productive Ideas for Fostering Your Child’s Minority Language

Another book that I highly recommend for parents is The Toolbox for Multilingual Families, by Ute Limacher-Riebold and Ana Elisa Miranda, which provides a wide range of practical and productive activities that can help nurture a child’s development in any target language. The book covers both communicative ability and literacy skills and

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My Kids and I Made an Online Store! Please Check It Out!

Over the years I’ve advocated the idea of regularly pursuing creative projects with your kids in the minority language. Such short-term activities not only can add to the amount of language exposure and engagement your children already receive through daily habits and routines, they can be very productive fun. In fact, projects like this can potentially foster glowing memories and impact people far beyond

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Use Coloring Books to Promote Language Exposure for Your Bilingual Kids

While it’s vital to provide ample language exposure to our children through continuous efforts like talking to them a lot and reading to them a lot, another productive option for language input involves short-term projects. Over the years I’ve shared a variety of ideas for creative projects—projects pursued by myself or other parents—that can give a significant boost to your bilingual journey by engaging your kids in fun, effective activities that make use of the target language. These projects with

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Chameleon Reader: The One Product I Wish I Could Gift to Every Parent and Teacher of Bilingual or Multilingual Children

If only Chameleon Reader had been around when I was teaching bilingual kids, and when my own kids were small! It would have been such a fun and effective way to nurture their ability in our minority language! Full disclosure: Over the past eight years, since I began this blog, I’ve regularly gotten requests to review books and products and services with some connection to raising bilingual kids. And in many cases, I’ve received free “review copies” of these things,

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