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Middle School/High School

Free E-Book for Parents Raising Bilingual Children from Adam Beck, the Founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo

In spring 2014, I released the e-book Instant Inspiration for Parents Raising Bilingual Kids. The response to this unique resource was very positive and I’m so thankful to all those who made a contribution, in exchange for the e-book, to help support my work at Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo. As promised, 100% of these funds have gone toward maintaining and enhancing these two websites. Meanwhile, I’ve also heard from some parents who wanted a copy of the e-book

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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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How Nearly Getting Myself Killed by a Kite and Having to Pay a Parking Ticket for $150 Helped My Children’s Bilingual Ability

My son turned 7 in March and he wanted a kite. No big deal, right? Well, the truth is, I had never flown a kite in my life and I wasn’t all that eager to start now, when the only running I do these days involves chasing Roy around the house to put pants on him. Also, this is embarrassing to admit, but I’m a disaster when I handle any sort of string or wires. It’s like some kind of

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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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Are Your Bilingual Kids Writing Letters in the Minority Language?

I’ll admit it: my kids have a love-hate relationship with writing letters. They love receiving them, but they hate writing them. I wish this wasn’t the case—it would make my life a lot easier if I didn’t have to expend so much energy getting them to produce these letters for grandparents and others—but I suppose it isn’t realistic to think that the average child under the age of ten would be any more enthusiastic about it. I mean, they love

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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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Bilingual Style: Celebrating and Supporting the Bilingual Journey

What is Bilingual Style? Bilingual Style is an online store with fun, one-of-a-kind products for parents of bilingual (and trilingual) children. (Teachers and adults with more than one language may find something they like, too!) Products from Bilingual Style are not only unique and appealing, they are designed to celebrate your family’s bilingual identity and support your long-term success by serving as daily reminders of your mission. Who is behind Bilingual Style? Bilingual Monkeys has partnered with Zazzle, an online

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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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Recommended Resources: Captivating Comic Books for English Learners

In my last post, How Comic Books Can Give Your Kids Bilingual Super Powers, I shared both anecdotal stories and hard research which point to the use of comic books as a highly effective resource for nurturing language development and a love of literacy. If English is your minority language—or English might be in your children’s future at some point—the graphic novels (book-length comics) I recommend in this follow-up post may be of interest to you and your kids. This

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How Comic Books Can Give Your Kids Bilingual Super Powers

My kids don’t really believe me—because I’m now such a nutcase about books and reading—but when I was a child, I actually read very little. Well, that’s not entirely true. I would avoid reading books—even when assigned in school—but I read all the comics I could get my grubby hands on. I read comics voraciously, and despite reading very few “real books” in my youth, the obsession I had with comics helped fuel my language development and my love 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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