Multilingual Living’s Week in Review: Oct 24

by Corey · 3 comments

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!

Welcome Maria Hawkins!

Please join me in welcoming Maria Hawkins to our list of regular contributors at Multilingual Living!  Maria is a bilingual homeschooling mother of three who used to teach in the public schools.  Check out her first Spanish language lesson, Las Hojas Estan Cambiando (The Leaves Are Changing): Part One, and stay tuned for more lessons, articles and more.

Thank you, Maria, for taking the time to share your knowledge and experiences with us!

Will We Trust The Test Results?

This week Madalena answered a Multilingual Living reader’s question about foreign language school for special needs children.  Although this concern is specifically about special needs children, I believe the overarching concern is the same: does adding an additional language (especially if schooling is in another language) have unforeseen consequences?  Will it burden our children?

The other big question that comes to our minds in such situations is will our children get enough community language to “keep up” and meet mainstream testing standards?

I can relate to this concern.  As much as I dislike the role that testing plays in our children’s lives, the reality is that sooner or later it will most likely happen.  What will be the outcome?  Will we even trust the results?

This is why it is important to form a relationship with our children’s teachers and school administrators.  They need to understand why our children may not do as well on certain testing which is highly vocabulary based and that it is not necessarily a reason for worry.  Search out the research (and read through the Ask Madalena Q & A) and then share this with everyone involved – not in an aggressive way but rather as an eagerness to establish the best educational environment for your child as possible.

Multicultural Society Has Failed

On October 17th on the Multilingual Living Facebook page, Oliver posted an article about Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stating that a German multicultural society has failed.  Thank you, Oliver, for posting that!  My German husband and I have been discussing Chancellor Merkel’s comments quite a bit lately, primarily in an attempt to uncover what the real issues may be that are causing such a discussion.

Alice’s comment in response was fantastic!  Here is an excerpt:

Define “multicultural”?? Maybe this is simplistic, but to me, multicultural = diversity. That’s a descriptive definition, and the way I see it, diversity can’t “fail”; either a society is diverse or it’s not (but most are anyway).

But the political definition seems to be a lot more complex. Merkel really wants to say that integration of diverse cultural groups within Germany has failed. So when politicians talk about “multiculturalism” they really mean that: they use the word as though it’s the opposite of integration, i.e. a multicultural society is equivalent to cultural groups that can’t or don’t want to integrate into the mainstream culture…. Which I am not sure I agree with at all (both the political definition of the word as well as the notion that it has “failed” in Germany).

Thank you Oliver and Alice for this discussion!  It brings to light a number of concerns and misconceptions that abound in today’s socialites!

Calling All Bilingual Bloggers!

The Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism has opened!  Multilingual Living will be hosting it this month and we are accepting posts right now!  If you are interested in learning more about this blogging carnival, check out this page on Bilingual For Fun.  If you know how the carnival works, then send me the name and link of your chosen post, the name of your blog and a short blurb about your blog.

The deadline is October 26th so send me your post right away!  I hope to have the blogging carnival on bilingualism post up on October 28th or 29th.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew October 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I definitely agree with you on Merkel, and I think most other people have come to the same conclusion: she’s talking about “integration” specifically. Now, whether or not it has “failed” in Germany and, if it has, whether or not that’s a bad thing is a whole other deal.

Also, looking forward to the blog carnival, I hope you get plenty of entries (you’ve got mine)!



2 Corey November 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Thank you for your comment, Andrew. Yes, this is such a sticky subject. I think it is good that it is being discussed! I sure hope it leads to positive and fruitful discussion – not just attacks and backward policies!


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