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Making Science a Bigger Part of a Bilingual Child’s Life and Language Development

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, recently I’ve been sharing a personal struggle. (And if you’re not subscribed to my free newsletter, you’re missing out! I often share things via the newsletter that aren’t found on this site, as well as further tips and tricks that could help boost your children’s language development. For full details, just see the Subscribe page.) Here’s the thing: I’m practically a caveman when it comes to science. By nature, I believe, my mind is

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A Powerful Twist on the Use of Skype to Promote the Minority Language

In 3 Good Ways to Boost a Bilingual Child’s Language Ability and Loving Bond with Grandparents, I mentioned that we make regular use of Skype so my kids can connect in English, our minority language, with family members in the United States. As you would expect, these interactions have consisted of conversation about recent activities: school, free time, special events, etc. My experience, though, has been that the outcome of each Skype session depends largely on the “richness” of these

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This Great Way to Get Bilingual Kids Talking More is Often Overlooked

In How I Get My Bilingual Son to Talk His Head Off in the Minority Language, I shared a fun activity for encouraging a child to talk non-stop in the target language. Well, just this morning a related idea arose with my daughter. In fact, I’ve pursued this idea in the past, but today I realized that I should probably make it a more conscious tactic in my never-ending quest to increase the time my kids spend using the minority

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How I Get My Bilingual Son to Talk His Head Off in the Minority Language

When my son gets home from school, he has a habit of stripping off his clothes and strutting around the house stark naked. My wife finally chases him down and puts pants on him, but yesterday she was outside, working in the yard, so he was free to prance about in his birthday suit longer than usual. This led to a very funny scene where he was standing there with his scrawny 6-year-old physique and shouting at me for several

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What Language Should I Speak in Public with My Bilingual Child?

Note: Be sure to read the many comments below this post, too. Recently, I was posed the same tricky question by several readers… Of course, like many of the issues that arise on the bilingual journey, there’s no “right” answer to this question. A suitable response to a challenge like this is one that fits the family’s particular circumstances and goals most effectively. That being said, it might be helpful if I share how I’ve handled this dilemma with my

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A Sneaky Way to Get Bilingual Kids to Use the Minority Language

See this box? It’s for you! That’s right! And inside is something really special—it’s something you’ve always wanted! Oh, I just know you’re going to love it! To find out what’s in the box (as well as that sneaky way to get bilingual children using the minority language), just keep reading…

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96 Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Child’s Bilingual Ability

Today is another opportunity to nurture your children’s language development. Every effort you make today, and again tomorrow, will move you and your children a little farther along your bilingual journey. These small steps will gradually add up over time—over days, weeks, months, and years—and largely determine the distance you travel. But in the end, it always depends on today. Below, then, is a list of 96 things you can do, right now, to help nurture your children’s language development,

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3 Good Ways to Boost a Bilingual Child’s Language Ability and Loving Bond with Grandparents

For much of June, we were in the U.S., visiting family and friends. This series of articles offers observations of that trip in connection with raising bilingual children. The main purpose of our trip to the United States was to provide an opportunity for my kids and my parents to spend time together in person. As it had been five years since our last trip—when my kids were just 4 and 1—they didn’t really have clear memories of their grandparents

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The Importance of Stories and Storytelling in Raising Bilingual Kids

Stories and storytelling have long played a central role in my efforts as a parent and a teacher of bilingual children. Human beings have an innate interest in hearing stories, and I try to take advantage of that natural tendency by “flooding” the child’s world with narratives in the minority language. By increasing the amount of stories heard, and the forms in which those stories are told, a parent or teacher can enrich the child’s exposure to the target language—which

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The Most Powerful Thing of All in Nurturing Language Development

I read an excellent article on language development in The New York Times the other day: The Power of Talking to Your Baby. I highly recommend a look, but if you’re pressed for time, here’s my tweetable summary: The more that goes in, the more that comes out. “The key to early learning,” contends the author, Tina Rosenberg, “is talking—specifically, a child’s exposure to language spoken by parents and caretakers from birth to age 3, the more the better.” She

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Recommended Resources: The Captivating Songs and Stories of Bill Harley

My round-up of Great Music for Kids (and Parents, too!) includes the children’s entertainer Bill Harley, but his work as a singer-songwriter and storyteller is so distinctive, so outstanding, that I feel he deserves a post all his own. If English is your target language, and your kids are from about 4 to 12, I think you’ll find his music not only great fun, but a rich source of language exposure as well. Harley, a two-time Grammy Award winner, has

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