This is a review of the articles, Tweets, Facebook posts and more which went out this week in and around our Multilingual Living universe. Thank you everyone for sharing your tips, tweets, emails and more with me! Were it not for you, this post wouldn’t even be here!
A Different Form of Bilingualism
We almost always think of speech when we think of bilingualism. But there is another form which Prof. Grosjean discusses in his Psychology Today post. We also include an excellent article about this by Prof. Grosjean in Multilingual Living Magazine.
Make sure to also read the BBC article: Deaf people’s ‘beautiful finger-signing’ recorded. This lovely language is being preserved via video recording. So wonderful!
Will Bilingualism Save Us Or Will It Ruin Us?
Ah, the media! Newspapers, television, magazines, blogs, books they all want to catch our attention with overblown headlines. There is nothing wrong with a good headline but we need to be careful.
This week there was a great discussion on the Multilingual Living Facebook page around the following two headlines:
When I read each of these headlines I just shook my head and sighed. The first title implies “if your child is bilingual then they are going to fail” while the second title implies “if your child is bilingual then you have a genius in your home.” Neither are 100% true. The truth resides somewhere in between and is something closer to: “bilingual children are as diverse, average and normal as monolingual children.”
It is wonderful to read news about the benefits of bilingualism – and there are many! I find it all fascinating, inspiring and simply amazing what we can learn! But we have to be careful. Just because eating healthy is good for us, it doesn’t mean we will become super-humans. The same is true for bilingualism.
We mustn’t forget the power of social, political, economic, and psychological factors in a child’s life. Whether a child is bilingual or not, these play a very large role in our path through life, probably even more than the nuances of bilingual vs monolingual brain development.
Let’s enjoy the research for the absolutely fascinating information that it provides. And at the same time, let’s savor what it means to be the average, fantastic, amazing multilinguals, just as we are.
Check out Audio Lingua, a great website that provides audio clips in different languages! You can choose the difficulty level as well as other categories. Make sure to take note of the audio clip ratings.
How Do You Say It?
There are so many ways to say “I love you”! How do you say it to your children? And in which language? Here is a sampling from the Multilingual Living Facebook page:
- Aurelie: I used to say Je t aime to my 1st child…by #3 and 10years expat I can say I love you to all my children 🙂
- Barbara: The Americans probably say more “I love you” to their children than Germans do. Germans rather use hugs and kisses, than words. If I say I love you to the children it’s rather “ich habe dich lieb” than “ich liebe dich”.
- Nichole:We only speak Maori to each other (my heritage but second language) but my only one sentence to him is “I love you” in the language I was brought up with. It means more to me. The only other time I speak English to him is if I am really irked about something 😛
- Monia: I say to my children: “Vi voglio tanto bene” and to my husband” “Ti amo”, but they mainly answer back: “We love you too Mamma!
That was just a few of the wonderfully touching and insightful responses. Head over to the Multilingual Living Facebook page to read them all. And while there, please click on the LIKE button at the top to let us know that you like what you see going on there!
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