I’m happy to report that the response to my book, from both leaders in the field and parents around the world, has been extremely positive. Below I’ll share a sampling of these impressions, along with links to interviews in which I talk about the book on audio or video.
First, though, please let me make another appeal for your support.
1. If you haven’t read the book yet, I’m confident it can give the same kind of empowering boost to your bilingual journey as it has with hundreds of other readers. At the same time, the proceeds from this book make it possible for me to keep Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo going and growing! All this online content is free—and I want to keep it free—but it’s also true that it’s getting costly for me to maintain these two sites. This means that your purchase helps us both in important ways! Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability is available worldwide, in paperback and as an e-book, at Amazon and other retailers.
2. If you’ve read the book (or after you read it), please share your impressions with others in a review at Amazon, one of the global Amazon sites, or elsewhere online, like Goodreads. I know this step can easily be overlooked in the midst of our busy lives, but your review (even a short one is fine!) would be so helpful in spreading the word to others. At the same time, this feedback from each reader means a lot to me personally. So I’d truly appreciate it! (And please feel free to share your impressions in other languages besides English!)
3. Please continue to tell others about the book. Your support through word-of-mouth is another key factor in exposing the book and its value to other bilingual and multilingual families. You might even consider gifting a few copies of the book, too—it makes a nice present!
Thank you! I honestly don’t like “selling” the book, but I believe deeply in its value to other parents and providing support so that families worldwide can experience greater success and joy on this marvelous journey is at the very heart of my work.
Reviews from leaders in the field
Note: If you’re interested in reading and reviewing my book for your website or publication, please email me directly.
Annick De Houwer, one of the world’s leading researchers on bilingualism in children and author of the seminal books Bilingual First Language Acquisition and An Introduction to Bilingual Development, has endorsed my book (in English and German) on her website at the University of Erfurt, in Germany, where she serves as a professor of language acquisition and multilingualism.
Christine Jernigan, who holds a PhD in foreign language education and has authored Family Language Learning, an excellent book for non-native parents of the minority language, offered this praise after reading my guide:
Ana Paula Mumy, a trilingual speech-language pathologist raising bilingual children of her own, who offers insightful advice at The Speech Stop, had this to say:
“As a mother raising bilingual children, and professionally, as a speech-language specialist, I’ve read and written extensively on the area of bilingualism. There are so many resources readily available out there for bilingual families, but Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability is uniquely special. Adam’s use of perspectives (ways of thinking) and principles (ways of acting) will certainly bring about right thinking that leads to right doing when it comes to fostering active bilingual language ability in children. His use of effective analogies and metaphors also enable key concepts to seek in deep and remain as crucial elements in the foundation that must be laid in order for us, bilingual parents, to reach our hefty goals.
Adam shows us clearly how to set a solid foundation in the minority language and gives us practical ideas for how to keep building upon that foundation. From personal experience as well as considerable teaching experience, Adam demonstrates clearly how ‘effective habits and routines must be mindfully established and diligently maintained, as well as thoughtfully adjusted as the circumstances of your journey evolve.’ He reminds us of the sober reality of the challenge undertaken and of the daily effort required when raising bilingual children. He speaks of the passion, enthusiasm, motivation, energy, engagement, commitment, creativity, discipline, follow-through, investment, joy, persistence, and perseverance involved. But instead of ending the book completely overwhelmed by the task ahead, the reader is energized as Adam equips us with very practical and important practices that make meeting this sizable challenge both possible and manageable. I also appreciate that though he is recounting his own journey, he is never imposing his way or his aim upon the reader, and he frequently acknowledges the vast diversity of family circumstances, language- and culture-specific situations as well as varying personal goals.”
Jennifer Brunk is a longtime educator and founder of the popular site Spanish Playground. Her detailed review at Spanish Playground captures the content and spirit of the book so well, and begins this way:
“Not long after I started Spanish Playground, Adam Beck began writing his blog Bilingual Monkeys. As I read his early posts, I recognized a talented educator and a kindred spirit. His book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability was released last year, and since then I have recommended it often to parents raising bilingual children. Without fail, their reaction is “Thank you. This is exactly what I need.”
Raising bilingual children is the right thing to do, but not an easy thing to do. In my experience, the biggest obstacle for most families is that they simply don’t know how – how to start, how to sustain the effort and how to cope with all of the complications and obstacles that inevitably arise. Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability teaches parents what they need to know.
Adam Beck is a teacher and parent raising bilingual children with a passion, playfulness and kindness that mirrors my own approach. He also has a deep understanding of how children acquire language. In the book he shares his genius for applying that knowledge to everyday family life.”
Eliza Sarnacka-Mahoney is a Polish journalist who reports on issues involving bilingualism. In the midst of her own successful bilingual journey in the U.S. with two children, she wrote a review at Dobra Polska Szkola (in English and Polish) that includes this perspective:
Michele Cherie is a homeschooling mother, teaching her children French, and founder of the blog Intentional Mama. Her thoughtful review includes these impressions:
“… the ideal guidebook for parents who are sure of their commitment to bilingual parenting but in need of ideas and ongoing inspiration. That covers every bilingual parent, including me!
If you’re a few years into this journey of bilingual parenting, you know how easy it is to slip into a state of discouragement. After all, the more you learn about raising bilingual children, the more you are reminded that the journey is an uphill one. From his own experience, Beck is highly aware of the difficulty of the task, and yet he remains immensely practical and positive about the possibilities and outcomes for both parents and children. I couldn’t be more grateful for his experience and realistic optimism, and I definitely came away with several new ideas for boosting my children’s bilingual abilities.
If books are food for thought and if continuing to learn about bilingualism is an essential part of a bilingual parent’s mental diet, then Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability is nutritional superfood. It’s more than 300 pages in all, but each brief chapter (many are only 2-3 pages in length) is like a green smoothie—healthy and nutrient-dense, but also palatable, and even enjoyable. I actually plan to continue re-reading this book in small chunks on a daily basis, much like a devotional. Beck touches on ideas that I want to keep in mind for the next ten years or more, or at least until my children are ready to take over their bilingual progress for themselves.”
Elisabeth Alvarado, founder of Spanish Mama, has included the book in her post 3 Must-Have Books for Every Spanglish Home. She writes:
“Adam offers tons of concrete suggestions for making the most of the time you get with your kids. Here you’ll find practical ideas you can implement right away– from using books and games, to communicating with extended family, to storytelling and keeping language-learning lively. This is the kind of resource you can come back to year after year, as your circumstances change and you need to tweak your family plan.
What I love about Adam’s approach is that joy is the real target. He is a master of making everyday language fun; always reminding us that how our kids feel about home and language is as important as the language acquired through our years of work.”
Isabelle O’Neill, founder of the Multilingual Cafe, wrote an informative review at her blog and closed with this endorsement:
Chontelle Bonfiglio, founder of Bilingual Kidspot, wrote this review at her blog and said:
Olena Centeno, founder of Bilingual Kids Rock, reviewed the book and read excerpts from it in this podcast episode.
Reviews from parents raising bilingual kids
Excerpts from the reviews at Amazon…
“I can’t say enough good things about Adam Beck’s book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability. Before I read it, I was hopeless that my almost 4-year-old son would become proficient in Portuguese, my mother language. However, after reading Adam’s book and putting into practice every tactic suitable to our circumstances, I noticed extraordinary progress in my son’s language (Portuguese) ability. I am beyond excited with such striking progress and forever thankful to Adam for raising awareness on bilingualism and providing invaluable tools for our bilingual children to thrive.”
“THIS is what I was searching for! I’m German, my husband is American and we have a 7 month old son who we want to raise bilingual. This book is a delight to read and provides so many useful insights and tips! I will even buy it as a wedding gift to my brother who is getting married to a French native. I think it’s so good! By the way, this is probably my first Amazon review but I just had to do it! Buy the book, you won’t regret it.”
“Extremely practical and inspiring guide for parents! This book is simply excellent. Beck has obviously poured his heart and soul into the bilingual journey of his children, and by reading this book, we the readers get to benefit from his giant efforts.”
“If you are seriously thinking about a bilingual upbringing, then this book is a must. I’ve read many books about the subject, but most of them describe the different methods and theories related to raising kids bilingually. It’s the only book I came across that really helps when you don’t know how to truly see improvement in your kids’ minority language active usage. It’s easy to read, very clear about what to do and, very important also, what not to do. The author very clearly describes techniques that we can all apply in our daily life, no matter what the context is. If you are interested in bilingual upbringing, look no further. I’ve read this and also analysed it from the point of view of a language teacher, translator and bilingual dad. Trust me, this is the book you need.”
“Practical, humorous & inspiring guide for bilingual families. This is a fantastic book, not only for raising bilingual kids, but for parenting and teaching in general. The author has clearly lived and tried everything he suggests, and he’s provided tested recipes for successfully creating a happy, multilingual home.”
“Very inspiring! As a Spanish native speaker living in Germany, it is very important for me that my 3 kids grow up bilingual. I’ve read quite a few books on the subject and I found Adam’s book different, a very inspiring and motivating book for parents of bilingual children, full of real life examples of the author’s children and with lots of ideas I will implement with my children. I am sure I will be re-reading the book for renewed inspiration whenever I find new challenges on our family’s bilingual journey.”
“Great encouragement for the bilingual journey! If you are a parent looking to raise your child with two or more languages, and need some encouragement as well as some concrete suggestions to help you along the way, look no further. This is the book you need. Then once you’ve read it, check out Adam’s blog or join the forum for even more great ideas and a community of people with the same goal for their children.”
And a review at Amazon UK…
“A must read! I very rarely say ‘you must read this’ but if you are a parent or carer raising children bilingually, or thinking about doing so, look no further. We are parents to a two year old boy and a three month old girl and have found this book incredibly helpful and informative. Prior to our son being born, we both researched around the subject of how to best support him to become bilingual. Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability is such a welcome break from the usual dry academic resources. If you are going to read one book about raising bilingual children, make it this one.
Adam draws not only from his extensive knowledge on the subject and experience teaching and mentoring, but also from his experience as a parent to two bilingual children. The result is a human, joyous read; beautifully written and easily digestible. We finished reading it feeling really inspired and full of new ideas about how to best continue along our journey speaking three languages at home.”
Interviews about the book on audio and video
Marianna Du Bosq, founder of Bilingual Avenue, invited me to chat about the book and my own bilingual journey in this podcast episode, a conversation that ran nearly an hour.
Joy Jarman-Walsh, of GetMagazine magazine, dubbed me “Hiroshima’s bilingual child whisperer” in this article and 30-minute audio interview.
Amanda Hsiung Blodgett, popularly known as Miss Panda Chinese, and I enjoyed a lively conversation about a range of issues related to raising bilingual kids in this videotaped interview.
Christa Jimenez and Heather Robertson-Devine, the team behind BilingualWe, interviewed me in this videotaped episode via Google Hangouts.
Everyone, thank you for your interest in my work and your generous support! Best bilingual wishes to you all!