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VIDEO: Adam Beck Goes Bonkers in Interview, Reveals “Crazy Secret” for Bilingual Success

I’ve written a lot of words at this blog about raising bilingual children. But I think this short video of me being interviewed by my kids will demonstrate, better than words ever could, the important sense of playfulness that I’ve described in Be Very Serious. Be Very Playful. The Bilingual Journey Demands Both. and other posts. I hesitate to call this a “method” because it’s simply my nature when I’m around kids. At the same time, I’m quite conscious of

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WARNING: Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Read This Blog Post About Raising Bilingual Children

What?! Why are you reading this blog post? I warned you not to, but you’re still reading! For your own safety, please stop reading now, before it’s too late! I mean it! You mustn’t read this blog post! It’s much too dangerous! It contains dreadful secrets you don’t want to know! This is your last warning! If you continue reading this blog post, I won’t be held responsible for the terrifying consequences!

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50 Activities with Animals to Engage Your Bilingual Kids in the Minority Language

I suppose you’ve noticed: Animals often appear in my posts, and I’m not just talking about my two monkeys. :mrgreen: In fact, in my last post, Adam’s Fables for Raising Bilingual Kids, I used animals to create little analogies about issues involving bilingualism and children. I even made an earlier post, called Bilingual Kids and the Animal Kingdom, where I shared my life-long love of animals and offered a list of links to many of the posts where animals make

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VIDEO: With Bilingual Kids, There’s a Madness to My Method

My kids are mad. My students are mad. But that shouldn’t be a surprise, really, because all children are mad. Let me give you a good example. Popcorn battles Yesterday my seven-year-old son comes home from school and my wife makes popcorn for an afternoon snack. Roy and I are sitting together at a low table on the living room floor, each with a bowl of popcorn before us. But the way we’re eating this popcorn is profoundly different. I’m

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Another Fun Idea to Get Your Bilingual Kids Eagerly Using the Minority Language

One of the challenges I’m now facing involves my kids and their use of the majority language: Japanese has become the “default language” for their communication with each other. In other words, they’ll switch to English (our minority language) when I’m interacting with them, but otherwise they generally speak together in Japanese. It wasn’t always like this. In fact, up until the time both of them entered our local elementary school, English was more often used as the shared language.

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A Terrific Way to Get Your Bilingual Kids Talking (and Build a Closer Bond)

Okay, so I’m sitting at dinner, across from my nine-year-old daughter. It’s just me and her because my wife and my son have already eaten. On Mondays, Lulu has a dance class after school, and because I’m the designated driver, we always get home well after 7 p.m. Too often, I’m afraid, I don’t take full advantage of these opportunities to talk to her, just the two of us having dinner together. The truth is, by the time we get

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The Funniest Activity I’ve Ever Done with My Bilingual Kids and Students

This might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s honestly not: the activity I’ll share with you today often gets my bilingual kids and students laughing like mad chipmunks. And it hits the funny bone of a wide range of ages, too, from first graders to teens. (I’ve even done this activity when I was teaching at local universities, and these college students learning English as a second language—who were normally so shy and passive—would soon be seized by fits of

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How to Use Poetry with Your Bilingual Kids (And Why You Should)

How much do you use poetry with your children to nurture the minority language? My sense is that many parents (myself included) don’t make use of poetry to the extent that they could, and should, beyond the early stage of nursery rhymes. The fact is, poetry is a highly effective means of promoting language acquisition. Exposing children to the sound and rhythm of your target language, through suitable poetry, can foster deeper sensitivity to that language and help lay the

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Help! My Bilingual Children Are Losing Their Ability in the Minority Language!

In Do Your Bilingual Children Go to School in the Majority Language?, I discuss how important it is to remain proactive in supporting a child’s minority language when the child attends a majority language school. The truth is, even when parents have had significant success fostering active ability in the minority language through the child’s first few years—the crucial “first stage” of bilingual development—when the “second stage” begins and the child goes off to school, that earlier progress can stall,

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Recommended Resources: Word Games in the Minority Language

When people walk into my house, the first thing they usually say is: “Gadzooks! You have so many books!” (Okay, they don’t really say “Gadzooks!”—I’m probably the only one in this hemisphere who uses that expression—but they do show surprise at our overflowing bookshelves. On that note, I suggest a close look at How Many Books Do You Have In Your Home? for research and opinion on why building a good home library is so important.) The second thing people

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How Blaming Your Kids For Things They Didn’t Do Can Boost Their Language Ability

This week a typhoon roared over Japan. I didn’t blame my kids for the typhoon, mind you, but I did blame them for something connected to it. Fortunately, western Japan, where we live, wasn’t hit so hard by the storm, but the wind was gusting pretty fiercely on Tuesday night. In fact, the next morning when I woke up I found my bicycle blown over on its side, like in this picture. Then, as we sat down for breakfast, I

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