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Middle School/High School

The 3 Things About Raising Bilingual Kids That I Stress Most Often to Parents

These days I regularly consult with parents about their bilingual or multilingual aim and, during these conversations, I have the chance to look back at my own journey with my kids and the things that have been most central to our success. While it’s certainly true that every family’s experience is different, and so our efforts should always be tailored as effectively as possible to our own particular situation, I do think there are some very basic and very powerful principles that apply to us all

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Two Bilingual Teens, Two Big Milestones

I began this blog 10 years ago, when my kids were 8 and 5—like in the photos above and below. Today they’re 17 and 14 and will turn 18 and 15 in just a few more months. I’ve covered many of the milestones we’ve experienced during this decade and I now have two more

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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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My Bilingual Kids Are Now Teens and This Is the Key to Our Success

I took my daughter to the doctor this morning. Yesterday at school, during P.E. class, she felt a painful twinge in her left leg—probably a pulled muscle. It doesn’t seem to be anything serious, and will likely heal on its own in a few days, but the school wanted us to have it checked. Naturally, I don’t wish for my children to injure themselves, but I must confess: it was a welcome chance for us to spend a little time

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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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Play This Great Indoor Game with Your Kids (And Get Them Eagerly Reading, Too)

The other day at The Bilingual Zoo, one mother (thanks, Judit!) described a game she was playing with her young son in the house and how much fun it was for them both. And, at the same time, how it got him reading eagerly in their target language. Reading about her experience, I fondly recalled the times I played this game with my own kids when they were small. And I thought: “Yeah, they’re now teenagers, but I bet they

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My Daughter Hits the Biggest Milestone of Our Bilingual Journey Together

My daughter, Lulu, will be 16 in a few months and this blog has followed her progress as a bilingual child in Japanese and English (trilingual, if we count her growing Spanish, too) over the past 8 years. There have been a lot of large milestones over these years—both in her language development and in her rising maturity—and I’ve shared many of them, including… “I Can Help People”: I Interview My Daughter on Being Bilingual (March 22, 2013) Big Breakthrough

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I Did Something the Other Day That I Thought I’d Never Do

The other day I took my son to the library. No, going to the library isn’t the thing I thought I’d never do. In fact, I used to go to the library all the time—every week, like clockwork—to borrow books to read to my kids. So it isn’t the library itself—it’s why we went to the library. For the sake of the minority language The library is downtown, sitting in a small park, and the parking lot is some distance

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Reflections on My Five Weeks in Europe, Part 3: Lunch with Simon Farrow

Another special highlight from my trip was the opportunity to meet in person, for the very first time, the artist who worked so hard on the illustrations for my novel, How I Lost My Ear, a funny, action-packed epic for older children and adults that was published in January 2018. In fact, before we met, I had spoken to him only once, over Skype, and that was just briefly. Otherwise, we communicated through email: many, many, many messages over the

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