Education

Craft with bilingual children

Foreign or second language learning through craft

The secret of learning a language is that there is no “secret”, basically a language is a tool for communication, and the best way to learn it and practice it is communicating. However, this can be difficult on a day to day basis, especially if both parents and children are busy with work, school, after […]

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The importance of early years bilingualism

This is an issue at the top of the to-do lists of many parents, along with music, sport, school and many other activities that are thought important for children nowadays. The British Council in Madrid, an education centre established to bring English education to those Britons living abroad as well as many local families who […]

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7 steps to teaching your kids a second language

In the world we live in speaking at least two languages is rapidly becoming a necessity. So, one either has the money to pay for tutors, or has the opportunity to live abroad or speak another language to pass on to the children. Many parents around hat world are catching up to the idea that […]

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Learning Spanish on a budget, a parent’s approach

Nowadays, most people realise the importance of knowing  how to speak a foreign language, and consequently they want their children to have this great gift as well. However, not everybody does speak a foreign language as an adult, are these monolinguals doomed, then, to have monolingual children?

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Review: A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism by Colin Baker 4th Edition

With this new edition, the new classic Colin Baker’s Guide to Bilingualism presents us with answers to the most common questions that parents with bilingual children are faced with. At the same time it introduces new information adapted to the times like bilingualism in the digital age and incorporating the latest research in multilingualism, neonatal […]

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In the media

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The importance of early years bilingualism

This is an issue at the top of the to-do lists of many parents, along with music, sport, school and many other activities that are thought important for children nowadays. The British Council in Madrid, an education centre established to bring English education to those Britons living abroad as well as many local families who […]

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Celebrities speaking other languages

We’re used to US and British-based superstars speaking English. But here are some celebrities who are bilingual, or at least pretty fluent, in other languages. Can you think of any other good ones to add? Here’s Colin Firth being interviewed in italian Mila Kunis’s Russian language interview in Moscow The Fantastic Four’s Ioan Gruffudd speaking […]

Bilingual reviews

Children’s theatre in Spanish

Stories and storytelling are very important for children. Of course, they love cartoons, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love theatre or plain story telling better when presented to it. If you have the chance to travel abroad to the country where the language your kids are learning is spoken, find out about local venues […]

Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, the Chinese counterpart of Dora de Explorer

Ni Hao in Mandarin Chinese means hello. I’ve known this ever since I started working for a Taiwanese company many years ago. However, in all my language obsessed mothering years, I’ve never even attempted to teach my children any Chinese, not even as a dinner party joke (look at my cute children, they can dance […]

Review: A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism by Colin Baker 4th Edition

With this new edition, the new classic Colin Baker’s Guide to Bilingualism presents us with answers to the most common questions that parents with bilingual children are faced with. At the same time it introduces new information adapted to the times like bilingualism in the digital age and incorporating the latest research in multilingualism, neonatal […]

Review: Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family by Xiao-lei Wang

Raising bilingual or multilingual children requires dedication and hard work. It also raises an important issue, what to do with Literacy. It is likely that the children in a multilingual family will attend a school or some form of formal education in the country where they are living, where they will be taught to read […]

Review: Salsa, Spanish resources for children

Learning a foreign language in the family is not an activity exclusive to families with one or two bilingual adults. People who don’t speak a language or who speak it to limited proficiency can also make language learning into a fun activity to do with their children. Nowadays we have many resources at our disposal […]

Review: Bilingual Siblings by Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert

When we had our our first child, as many other bilingual families we wondered how she would take to learning two languages. There is a lot of planning and work in raising successful bilingual children, thing are not that simple, as they are many different factors to consider. After the first child come the second, […]

Mama’s view

When the terrible 2's arrive kids love to say 'no' to Mum and Dad...

What if your child refuses to speak the minority language?

Bilingualism does not follow a straightforward path and it’s not an exact science. There are many different variables that can influence bilingual families and bilingual individuals. Many successful bilingual parents don’t really stop to consider ‘what ifs…?’ What if your kid suddenly turned around and said that he doesn’t want to speak your language? What […]

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Four years on… how are we doing?

I am sure that some of you who read our blog come back time and time again to see how we are doing, how are the children coping with the multilingual environment. It could be that you are planning the same, you are unsure of what to expect, you want reassurance there are other people […]

Papa’s View

The bilingual siblings on the phone to Spain...

Discoveries after 4 years of raising bilingual children

My eldest daughter, Martha, as just turned four and her sister, Malena, has just turned two. Both children have existed in a multilingual environment from day one. Martha speaks English and Spanish to more of less equal fluency and fully understands French, with a much lesser propensity to use it. Looking back over the last […]

Bilingual research

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Ten amazing facts about bilingualism

Wondering whether it’s worth raising a child bilingually? Here are some amazing facts about the benefits of speaking more than one language. 1. Bilingualism actually grows grey matter! In the recent past, parents and teachers assumed that teaching children to another language at an early an age would delay their language skills and somehow stunt […]

bilingual brain

Lifelong bilingualism keeps you youthful say scientists

New research from the University of Kentucky suggests older people that have been bilingual throughout their life show greater cognitive ability in old age, using less energy when performing cognitive flexibility tasks. Older people who have spoken two languages throughout life can switch from one task to another more quickly, according to the study published […]

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Myths of bilingualism

Bilingualism, like many of those ideas that inspires love and hate at the same time, has grown a few myths around it. We have all met that 60s or 70s child, product of a multilingual, multiracial, multicultural family, who is however monolingual and absorbed with the life of the country of his birth. When asked […]

Bilingual books

Image of The Bilingual Family: A Handbook for Parents

Image of Raising a Bilingual Child (Living Language Series)