Multilingual Living’s Week in Review: March 20

by Corey · 0 comments

Are These the Hardest Language to Learn?
Check out the responses to the article What Are the Hardest Languages to Learn on the Multilingual Living Facebook page. Do you agree with the assessment? Let us know what you think about the post and while on the Multilingual Living Facebook page, make sure to click on the little LIKE button at the top to put a big smile on our face today.

Bilingual Homeschooling – Globally
Did you know that homeschooling is illegal in Germany, is permitted in the Czech Republic and was a viable option in Harry Potter’s world before Voldemort forbade it? What about in your country? Is it legal? Have you ever considered doing it? You can read our post about bilingual homeschooling and then read comments from others around the world on the Multilingual Living Facebook page.

Bilinguals see the world differently (even if not fluent)
Did you know that bilinguals actually see the world differently from monolinguals?  Whether we are fluent in our additional languages or not, the effect is still present. Find out how researchers test for this and what their conclusions are in the Science Daily article Bilinguals see the world in a different way, study suggests.

News, Stories, and More…
The following are news reports, research, stories and more that came my way via Twitter this week:

  • The brain is a bad metaphor for language: This is a fascinating and detailed response from Dominik Lukeš to Patricia Kuhl’s Ted talk that I mentioned a few weeks back. He points out many issues with the talk, including: “Languages do not die because there’s nobody there to speak it to the babies (until the very end, of course) but because there’s nobody of socioeconomic or symbolic prestige children and young adults can speak the language to.” Let me know what you think about Dominik’s post! I’d love to know!
  • Fluent in another language? CIA wants you: “…the U.S. represents a living laboratory for observing how adult brains change over time as they struggle to adapt to the new grammar and vocabulary of a second language.”
  • Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism: Head over to Verbosity to read the fantastic posts in the February carnival.
  • Rude honesty: when politeness is cultural: “Bluntness. Directness. Criticism. Call it what you will but the Dutch habit of telling it like it is leaves some expats with a cultural conundrum.”
  • Why Swedes say F$%#! on television: “But suddenly something caught my attention. Or rather, a single word. It was four letters long, and started with an F. I leaped to attention.”
  • Study finds that learning language goes beyond imitation: “If a child sees an adult with full casts on both arms turn on a light switch with his head, do they assume that the light can only be turned on with one’s head? If children learned purely by imitating others then this would be the case, but learning is much more sophisticated and creative than this.”
  • Language on the left? The human brain is split into two halves, the left and the right hemisphere. But to what extent are language functions found mainly in one hemisphere, and why this might be?
  • Bilinguals’ neurons may reveal the secrets of brain disease: “A team of researchers from the University of Montreal and McGill University have discovered a type of “cellular bilingualism” – a phenomenon that allows a single neuron to use two different methods of communication to exchange information.”
  • Screening and Assessment for Preschool Dual Language Learners??? “You should use multiple measures including teacher observations, parent interviews, and portfolios for all children… then you just have to rely more heavily on those components for children who speak other languages.”
  • Language Immersion Connects with Students: “Letuka Mosia has a unique schedule. Aside from the traditional math and science classes, the sixth-grader is learning Chinese, Spanish and Nahuatl, an indigenous language.”
  • Bilingual Ed., Immersion Found to Work Equally Well: “…researchers have found that Spanish-speaking children learn to read English equally well regardless of whether they are taught primarily in English or in both English and their native language.”

Twitter story in Spanish
I wasn’t sure what this was at first but after I started clicking on the links in Paulino Brener’s Spanish Twitter story, I couldn’t stop! CLICK HERE to start the story (I don’t think you have to be signed into Twitter to enjoy it). If you like it, make sure to let me and the creator know!


Do you have any tips, suggestions or information that you would like to share with us at Multilingual Living? Join me on Twitter, get into the conversation on the Multilingual Living Facebook page, and send me an email whenever you’d like to connect. I always enjoy connecting with other bilingual and multilingual families!

Corey Heller is the founder of Multilingual Living and the Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Multilingual Living Magazine. Multilingual Living is the place where she shares her knowledge about raising multilingual and multicultural children. Corey, an American, and her German husband live in Seattle where they raise and homeschool their three children, ages 15, 14 and 12, in German and English.

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