Why Should Parents Talk to Their Children in Their Native Language

By Ana Paula G. Mumy
Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik

As a speech-language pathologist and as a multilingual mother of bilingual children, I am finding myself shocked and confused at the number of parents I run into who have chosen not to speak their native language to their children for various reasons or who have been persuaded to believe that speaking their native language to their children will hurt them socially or academically if the primary language of the community is different.

There are so many great articles and literature (based on good research) available on the topic of bilingualism and its benefits, even for children who may be experiencing language delays, that it seems redundant to write on the issue, but I feel compelled to do so because the passing down of a parent’s native language appears to be diminishing more and more.

So why should parents talk to their children in their native language?   Click here to read more…

Multilingual Musings

10 Reasons Why You Should Marry a Foreigner (Like I Did)

by Corey
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By Corey Heller Photo Credit: Kim Hyeyoung What with all of the fantastic American men around, what made me choose to tie the knot with a foreigner? How about this fun, tongue-in-cheek, stereotypical rundown of some of my favorites (ignoring, of course, all of the challenges that go into an international marriage – you can […]

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Multiculturalism

Returning Home After Living Abroad

by Corey
Fridge_Photo

By Corey Heller This originally appeared in Multilingual Living Magazine. As many of us know and have experienced, living in another country changes you forever. You will never be the same and will never see things the same way again.  I mentioned this to a friend after having lived abroad for a year. She looked […]

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Expert Advice

Top 10 Reasons Your Children Aren’t Speaking Your Language

by Corey
Girls Whispering

By Corey Heller Wondering why your children are not speaking your language?  It is hard to say why one child will gladly speak a second (and third and fourth) language while another will resist it.  Below are the top 10 most likely reasons why they are not.  Do some of these resonate with your multilingual […]

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Families

Bilingual Homeschooling: Teaching Children at Home (in More than One Language)

by Corey
homeschooling kids

By Corey Heller “Last year when my son started school, things really started to change,” reported a woman in my seminar on Raising Bilingual Children. “I can’t get him to say one word in Chinese anymore.  He even said that he hates it when I speak Chinese with him!” Another woman piped in saying “Now […]

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Families

Bilingual Children: Why Does Each Child Speak Less English?

by contributor
Bilingual Children: Why Does Each Child Speak Less

By Ingrid Weilguny Photo credit: Jason Bolonski I remember before my children were born that we planned how it would be. Bringing them up bilingually, that is. We agreed on the one parent-one language approach. We decided that English would be the main influence within the house as outside the door they only heard German. […]

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Expert Advice

Bilingual Children: Why You Really, Really, Really Should Start When They Are Young

by Corey
bilingual children why to start when they are young

By Corey Heller Photo credit: Christina Rutz There are thousands of reasons out there for why you should help children learn a language when they are young – very young. Some studies point to the brain benefits of children who are raised with more than one language. Other studies explain how children naturally lose the […]

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Expert Advice

Why Raising a Bilingual Child Is Very, Very Simple – and Very, Very Difficult

by contributor
bilingual_family - bilingual monkeys

By Adam Beck Photo credit: Bill Selak On one hand, raising a bilingual child is very, very simple: given sufficient exposure to two languages, and a genuine need to use both, the growing child will become bilingual quite naturally. In my work as a longtime teacher of bilingual children, having watched hundreds of children become […]

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Review

5 Great Bilingual Books of 2013: Get Exploring Languages!

by contributor
best bilingual books 2013

  By Jeffrey Nelson Photo Credit: John Morgan For a fun way to teach your children about different cultures, expose them to books that will give them a greater appreciation for other nationalities. Children will be fascinated by other customs and traditions that children just like themselves experience. Below is a list of the top […]

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Expert Advice

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Multilingual Family in 2014

by Corey
Top 10 multilingual family resolutions for 2014

How was your family’s multilingualism in 2013? Did you feel like you made fantastic strides? Did you realize many of your goals? If so, wonderful! Keep up the great work in 2014! Don’t let yourself lose momentum! For the rest of us, below are our Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. Let the countdown […]

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Celebrations

Merry Weihnachten: Mixing & Matching Cultures for Christmas

by contributor
multicultural bicultural christmas holiday

By Ingrid Weilguny Photo credit: Til Westermeyer With Christmas around the corner, I’m starting to think of the most wonderful time of year here in Austria. Christmas markets, the smell of roasted chestnuts and honey almonds swirling around me, standing by a fire outdoors with a mug of mulled cider. Christmas cookies, gingerbread houses and […]

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Families

How Our Imperfect Spanish Immersion Experience Turned Out to Be Enlightening

by contributor
spanish immersion bilingual child

This is part three in a series of posts from Marcela Hede. Start by reading her first post How to Have a Perfect Bilingual Immersion for Your Child without Losing Your Mind and her second post Immersion School: 4 Hurdles to Overcome Before Choosing One before this third and final post. By Marcela Hede Photos […]

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Expert Advice

Bilingualism, Immigration & Stress: Adapting to a New Country

by contributor
Bilingualism, Immigration and Stress: Adapting to a New Country

By Ingrid Weilguny Flag photo:  © Josh Obryan | Dreamstime Stock Photos Immigrating is one of the most stressful events you can experience yet it is something that millions of people do each year. How people adapt to this can affect many things, including your child’s language development. Truman, Sharar and Pompe published a study […]

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Ask Multilingual Living

Bilingual Toddler on a Minority Language Holiday

by Corey
Bilingual Family - Multilingual child

This week we share a question from Lin who is about to embark on a holiday visit with her family. She is wondering whether or not it would be ok for her to switch to her child’s minority language during the visit in order to give her child a complete “minority-language-bath.” Should she go for […]

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Multilingual Musings

Multilingual Identity: Is Our Multilingualism a Costume, a Disguise?

by Corey
multilingual costume disguise reality

By Corey Heller Photo credit: Scott Calleja Have you ever listen to This American Life with Ira Glass? I listen to the podcasts each week while making dinner and am always, always moved, inspired and touched by the stories of humanity – at its best, at its worst and everything in between. The stories remind me […]

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Ask Multilingual Living

The Best Way to Raise a Multilingual Child?

by Corey
Bilingual Family - Multilingual child

Planning ahead for the arrival of our children is important in a multilingual marriage. Although things may just fall into place once our children arrive, it sure helps to have a language plan worked out with our spouse ahead of time! Frank and his fiancée are doing what they can to plan things out now […]

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General Multilingualism

A Multilingual & Multicultural Education – Luxembourg Style

by Corey
multilingual multicultural education luxemburg

By H.E. Rybol Photo credit: Claude Wians Whenever I tell people I grew up in Luxembourg, they look at me like a question mark. They have difficulties picturing… well, something. Fair enough, it’s a tiny country and not exactly an exotic destination known for its cozy climate. So, what is it like growing up in […]

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