This is a review of the interesting articles, Tweets, Facebook posts and more which took place this week in and around our Multilingual Living universe. Thank you everyone for sharing your tips with me! Keep them coming!
This week the Multilingual Living Facebook page hit 1,000 fans! So fantastic! What a way to show the world that multilinguals are active, motivated, interesting and connected.
What is most amazing to me is that you made this happen in less than 4 months! Can you believe it?! I am still in awe. You are the reason that this happened – your conversations, involvement and discussions are what made us all take notice and want to be involved. I can’t wait to read the Multilingual Living Facebook page each day because I know you will have shared something new that will get my thoughts going.
Thank you for being such an amazing bunch of people. I am so very honored to be able to be in your midst. And I look forward to many more days, months and years of our community growing even closer.
If you haven’t joined our community on Facebook, just go to www.facebook.com/multilingualliving, log in and click on the LIKE button at the top of the page. You will be connected to what I think is the most amazing multilingual community around!
Want Your Kids to Do Well in School?
In the past research said that we should not speak anything other than the community language with our children. That research was flawed and since then we have been showered with more up-to-date, comprehensive research showing the benefits of sticking to our native languages with our children.
The key factors are two fold: language mastery and emotional connection. Language is meant to be used for communication, and communication is used to connect with others on a myriad of levels. Voice, tone, vocabulary, body language, and more all come into play when we communicate with others.
Furthermore, when we speak with our children about different topics using the full range of our language vocabulary and grammar, our children increase their cognitive abilities. These abilities, in turn, will transfer over to their school language. So not only will our children have the chance to become bilingual, they will continue to excel right along with their fellow monolinguals.
It is for these reasons that school administrators are finally starting to embrace the benefits of families speaking their native languages at home. Note that this has less to do with whether a language is native or not, it has to do with us using a language with our children that we feel comfortable speaking and through which we can express personal and increasingly complex meanings with our children. Using a stilted language 100% of the time with our children, which does not come naturally and comfortably, can actually have a negative emotional and overall impact.
Here is a short but important article from Judie Haynes describing why it is important to continue speaking our home languages with our children.
What’s the Weather?
One of my favorite “conversations” on the Multilingual Living Facebook page this week was the simple question: “Where do you live and what’s the weather like?” I was glued to the page for two days, fascinated with the diversity of your countries and weather conditions! Thank you everyone for posting!
Does Your Accent Make You Less Credible?
Check out this very interesting Scientific American article: Why the Brain Doubts a Foreign Accent. If people don’t seem to trust that what you say is credible, it could be because you have an accent. And in this global environment of multilingualism, everyone is bound to have an accent in one of their languages or another.
The solution? Raise your children multilingually from the start! At least that is my recommendation! And then check out what others say to the wall post from September 30th on the Multilingual Living Facebook page. Very interesting!
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