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 »

I Have an Accent and I'm OK with That

That’s right.  I have an accent and I’m OK with that.  I have an accent when I speak Chinese, I have one when I speak Turkish, and, guess what, I even have one when I speak English.  That’s because everyone has an accent.  The rhythm and sounds in our speech our unique to our place... Read more »

Silence is Golden in Language Learning

We know from the experts that children must talk talk talk to learn a language.  How many bilingual parents have children that understand, but can’t speak the language?  The answer is a lot more than you’d think.  Language use requires multiple parts of the brain with the receptive (reading, listening) and productive (writing, speaking) skills... Read more »

Children's Chinese Learning Christmas Wish List

Good Chinese learning products for kids are hard to find.  There simply isn’t that much out there and what is out there may not be of the best quality.  Due to the paucity of available products, those that do exist are often quite pricey.   Children’s books usually start at $15 plus $5 shipping, which... Read more »

Multicultural Families - Creating Traditions

Being part of a multicultural family is interesting, especially around the holidays.  My wife is Turkish and celebrates the standard Islamic holidays, like the Eids.  I’m American, but have spent so much time abroad that I have become quite distanced from holiday traditions here and they often no longer carry the same meaning for me.... Read more »

Mixing Languages - Bilingual Children are So Smart!

Multilingual children have a lot of advantages over their monolingual peers – they tend to be more creative, perform better academically, can communicate with additional cultures, and have lower risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.  One of the ways I see this intelligence boost all the time with my daughter is when she mixes her languages.... Read more »

Monolingual Parents Supporting Children's Language Learning

One of the strangest concerns I get from parents interested in language learning is the “But if I don’t speak the language, how do I support my child at home?” question. The desire to support your child at home is fantastic, but language learning is no different from art, violin, tennis, or advanced math lessons... Read more »

How Many Words Do you Know for Dog? - Why Learning Another Language is Way Easier Than You Think

This Thanksgiving weekend, I was once again amazed by my two-year-old multilingual child.  She proved, once again, that learning multiple languages is way easier than you think.  As so many of us multilingual parents and bloggers have experienced, people think multiple languages will confuse a child.  The thing with languages, your first or any other,... Read more »