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Preschool

Guest Post: Bilingual Ability Is Always a Positive Thing

Like all of you, I’m doing the best I can to ensure that my daughter (the little fairy above) grows to enjoy the benefits of speaking more than one language, and hopefully she’ll do the same with her own children in the future. At the moment she’s three years old and is a lovely, funny little girl and (at least so far) seems very interested in languages. My own interest in bilingualism/multilingualism is both personal and professional. I did my

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This Key Strategy Can Empower Your Child’s Bilingual Ability Throughout the Childhood Years—and Even for a Whole Lifetime

In the recent post Make the Most of the “Golden Years” of Your Minority Language Influence, I introduced the challenging new stage of my family’s bilingual journey. Now that my kids—Lulu, nearly 15, and Roy, 12—are both in junior high school and are leading busy, increasingly independent lives in Japanese, I’m afraid my presence in their days, and the English exposure that goes along with it, is far more limited than it was when they were younger. In fact, the

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Want to Raise a Bilingual Child? Remember This: You Get What You Pay For.

I won’t bore you with the details, but over the past couple of months, I’ve had continuous troubles with many parts of my digital life, and especially email. In fact, last week my entire email account for Bilingual Monkeys (adam@bilingualmonkeys.com) suddenly disappeared from my computer, with thousands and thousands of messages vanishing in a matter of moments. (Fortunately, I was able to locate a back-up folder and restore most of them, but still, it was a long and distressing day.)

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Try This Really Fun and Effective Activity with an Early-Reading Child or Language Learner

Over the years, I’ve amassed big piles of papers that hold teaching materials, creative writing, and ideas for future blog posts, books, and other projects. From time to time I’ll sift through these piles in an attempt to file the papers I want to keep and discard the ones I no longer need. But the truth is, I never seem to get all the way to the bottom of these stacks and so the piles begin rising again as I

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How to Create Breakthroughs in the Language Development of Bilingual Children

My daughter will be 14 in June. My son turned 11 in March. If you’ve been following this blog over the years—when I made my first post in September of 2012, they were just 8 and 5—you know that they’ve had very different inclinations when it comes to reading in English, our minority language. While both have become competent readers through a variety of long-running efforts—which include reading aloud from birth; flooding our home with books, magazines, and comic books

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VIDEO: Important Research on Successfully Raising a Bilingual Child

In this video, I describe important research on success rates for raising bilingual children then explain the implications of this research for parents. The information I share goes right to the heart of successfully nurturing a child’s bilingual (or multilingual) ability and can be found in my widely-praised book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability: Ideas and inspiration for even greater success and joy raising bilingual kids. View this video at Bilingual Monkeys TV and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Get

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Raising a Bilingual Child, a New Podcast Episode with Adam Beck, Author of “Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability”

Breaking news! This week I was interviewed about raising bilingual children at the popular podcast Preschool and Beyond. The host is Mike Dlott and we had a great discussion. I hope you enjoy it! And I highly recommend the many other episodes at this podcast, too—it’s a goldmine of practical information about parenting issues. Listen to the Raising a Bilingual Child podcast episode at the Discovery Child Development Center website. Or listen to the Raising a Bilingual Child podcast episode

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5 Ways for Your Bilingual Child to Interact with Other Speakers of the Minority Language

If schooling in the minority language isn’t an option for your family, and travel to a minority-language destination is limited (see Bilingual Travelers, an ongoing series at this blog, for personal stories that share the powerful impact of such trips), it’s important to be proactive and resourceful about finding or creating opportunities from your own location so that your children can interact with other speakers of the target language. Here are 5 ideas… 1. Online Conversations Of course, many of

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Guest Post: 5 Key Strategies That Have Enabled Me to Successfully Foster My Son’s Bilingual Ability

This article describes five key strategies that have enabled me to successfully foster my son’s ability in the minority language, to the age of 4, despite being basically the only source of exposure to this language in my young son’s life. My wife, my son, and I live in Tokyo, Japan. My wife is Japanese, I’m American, and our son, Soma (a name we considered, but not his real name) is a dual citizen. As a family we have never

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12 Inspiring Real-Life Stories of Bilingual and Multilingual Families

In the post Do This One Simple Thing and I Guarantee You Greater Success On Your Bilingual Journey, I talked at length about how establishing and sustaining a habit of writing about your experience on a regular basis can be an especially powerful way of fortifying your efforts and your progress on this bilingual or multilingual quest. (While also producing a valuable written record of your family’s experience for the future.) In that post, I wrote… When it comes to

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My Bilingual Daughter Is 13. My Bilingual Son is 10. So Why Is Their Level in the Minority Language Basically the Same?

My daughter is 13, in her first year of junior high school. My son is 10 and in 5th grade. Both attend local Japanese schools and have grown up under virtually identical circumstances when it comes to sources of input in English, our minority language. And yet, in my personal observations of their language skills, as well as their performance when practicing for a standardized English test widely used in Japan (the Eiken test, where their level is now at

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