Category: Raising Multilingual Children

5 Speaking Tips for Minority Language Parents

Raising my child in a multilingual home and working with tons of multilingual families over the years, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.  If you are the only source of the language for your child, just speaking with them often won’t work.  It might be more successful before they enter school, but oftentimes it... Read more »

Multilingual Blog Carnival - Priorities in Language Learning

I am very honored to be holding this month’s multilingual blog carnival.  We have some great posts on how others from around the world build language learning into their families’ busy lives.  Raising multilingual children requires a large commitment of time, energy, and family resources.  For this reason, it’s necessary to make many choices about... Read more »

Hiring a Tutor for a Week of Chinese Immersion

I mentioned in a previous post that I really don’t care for immersion camps abroad.  I also opted to pass on attending a Concordia Language Village Family Camp this year.  Instead, we hired a tutor to spend the week with us.  This was a wonderful experience and one I’d highly recommend doing.  The cost is... Read more »

Even If You Don't See It, Children Are Learning Language

Last night we walked by the area of our city where they hold the annual carnival.  They had a petting zoo there that we spent about 15 fun-filled minutes at towards the end of last summer.  My daughter turns to me and asks, “绵羊在哪里 (Where is the lamb)?”  Last summer, she was barely saying a... Read more »

Playing with Language - A Sign of Success

My daughter has been doing some amazing stuff recently.  Language is fluid.  It changes every generation and we always use it in new ways.  People just really like to play with it.  We mess up grammar on purpose – “Now you done did it”, change our accent, or make up new words like “ginormous”.  Playing... Read more »

Why I Don't Like Overseas Language Camps

For families with the means, overseas language camps are a growing industry in children’s language education. The idea is a based on a good assumption that immersion in the foreign language is best learned in the country where it’s spoken. However, children living in their home country of course don’t need to learn the language.... Read more »

Varying Exposure in Children's Language Learning

Have you ever noticed that you tend to talk about the same things at home over and over?  How often do you find yourself discussing world geography or Chinese history at home?  The fact is that household language is fairly routine and formulaic.  Variation is of large significance when helping your child grow up multilingual.... Read more »

When Raising a Bilingual Child, Consistency is the Key

My daughter, Jasmine, and I were sitting at the table playing and I was talking to my wife in Turkish that it was bed time for Jasmine.  Jasmine looked at me and said, “不要睡觉 (I don’t want to sleep).”  She completely understood that we were speaking in Turkish about her bed time, but when she... Read more »

Mistakes to Avoid When Raising a Bilingual Child

I see it every day.  Children who understand their parents’ language, but can’t speak it.  There are generations of immigrants to the US that have failed to pass along their language to their children.  The fact is, it’s not easy and it doesn’t come naturally.  You’ve got to have a plan and you’ve got to... Read more »

Making Mistakes as a Non-native Speaker

One of the hardest things about raising my daughter in one of my non-native languages is making mistakes.  It’s not so bad if it’s just me, but if I’m teaching it to her wrong, that’s really frustrating.  For example, in Chinese, did you know that 转 and 转 are different words?  Yep, me neither until just recently.  They are... Read more »