Multilingual Living’s Week in Review: March 27

by Corey · 3 comments

Want to Tweet in Your Language?
Want to hear a fantastic story of technology gone good? Then check out the post Using Twitter to Preserve Minority Languages. Kevin Scannell has developed a program that will identify tweets in targeted minority languages. If you are looking for others to chat with, then do a search and get connected via Twitter. Fabulous!

Is Translation a Creation?
Of course translation is creative! But don’t take my word for it. Read Translation is Creation, a discussion with Lee Mi-do, Korea’s number 1 translator. It is a fascinating view into the world of movie translation.

BICS vs CALP
Language is not just language. Just because you can chat with your grandmother on the phone doesn’t necessarily mean you can attend a university course in that language. Why? It is because there are different levels of language proficiency.

Prof. Cummins describes the differences between BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) and CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) in the post Second language acquisition – essential information. It is fascinating and a must read for anyone involved in teaching children in a second language!

Fun Reading Tips and Activities
Colorín Colorado is a site full of information for keeping home language alive. Although the site is primarily aimed at English language learning children, the tips and activities can be used by any family who is looking for some inspiration. You will get just that in the Fun Reading Tips and Activities page on the site. If you prefer Spanish, make sure to click on the Spanish tab!

Does Multimedia Help or Distract?
What role does multimedia play in your family’s language learning and maintenance? Are DVDs, CDs, iPod apps and such helpful or just distracting? Is the screen time a benefit to language learning or keeping discussions from happening?

Read what others wrote to this question on the Multilingual Living Facebook page. The answer isn’t necessarily straighforward, is it?

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.

This website is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as a replacement or substitute for any professional financial, medical, legal, or other advice. By using this website, you signify your agreement to all terms, conditions and notices contained or referenced in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, please do not use this website.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nahid March 30, 2011 at 5:48 am

I say it in English and the reason is that I am coming from a family that did not express their feelings (especially positive feelings) towards children, so I never learned how to say I love you in my native language. It just feels weired.
English is such an open language.

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2 Marcela Hede March 30, 2011 at 7:41 am

I don’t now how true is the fact that bilingual children fall behind in school and have lower IQs. We have had the opposite experience.

Our son is in a Gifted and Talented school in NYC where to get in he had to take the OLSAT and Bracken tests to be accepted. The minimum was to have a score that put the child on the 90th percentile and he was well above that.

He was fully raised in Spanish until he was 2 and 1/2 since I was the primary care giver. After that, he English surpassed his Spanish.

He is excelling in school very nicely, and the majority of his classmates know a second language amongst them Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and French. And they are all G&T kids…

I know that research has shown the brain of bilingual children to have more dense gray matter and have advantages in metalinguistic awareness.

So I don’t know how true these articles are…I just know our experience.

Just my two cents.

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3 Susanne March 31, 2011 at 5:31 am

To make broad statements about monolingual/bilingual/multiligual kids is as absurd as doing the same based on ethnicity, race or creed or any other easy to attach label!

The educational background, esp of the main carer, in the home and the time he or she spends stimulating young children has far more to do with how well the children do in their early years at school and how well their innate intelligence is developed during their childhood and teens.
The early years in turn often colour their experiences of secondary schooling, many who fail at school are not of lower intelligence, they often do not conform to a rigid education system or have become disillusioned with it.

Also intelligence (to the extent that it can be accurately measured) can be a mixed blessing and doesn’t necessarily make life easier per se, personal attitude towards work/achievement etc is equally important.

My 4 bilingual children are all classed as G&T (and I would bet that many parents who read this can say the same, purely because they are the kind of people who care about their children and have access to the necessary technology to read up about how bilingualism might affect their offspring) they have no problems at school to do very well without ever having to put very much work into their subjects. However, one is completely switched off (this started in her second year at primary school!) and does what she has to and no more as she hates waiting if things have to be explained twice and then spends the rest of that lesson drawing or staring out of the window. She’s tested to be in the top centile but will finish school with worse grades than all her sisters because they have a better attitude and seem to get more enjoyment out of the mental stimulation a school setting provides.

So trust your own instincts: if you’re committed enough to read up on the subject on this website chances are that YOUR child/ren will do better, develop some extra brain capacity and (at least equally importantly!) gain some insight into a different culture with its history, values etc which monolingual children will only get access to through travel and living abroad when they are adults.

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