Multilingual Living’s Week in Review – May 1st

by Corey · 1 comment

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!

Where’s the Asian Support?
This week Sam wrote a great post on the Multilingual Living Forum about her search for Asian language resources and conversations. I realize that what Sam writes also applies to Multilingual Living to some degree.

How can Multilingual Living be even more multicultural and multilingual? Please read my response to Sam and let me know what you think. I would be delighted if Sam and those from many different language and cultural backgrounds were to bring their perspectives, tips, conversations and more to Multilingual Living as much as possible! It is so very wonderful for us all to learn as much as we can about each other’s languages and cultures. Thank you Sam for bringing this to light as well as getting the ball rolling by sharing so many interesting Japanese resources in the Multilingual Living Forum!

Experts Discuss Childhood Bilingualism
You have heard me complain before about how media has a habit of condensing complex, multifaceted topics into 2 to 3 minute sound bites that leave us more confused than before. And worst of all, these sound bites are then used by people to make us worried in thinking that we (1) must start doing something right now or (2) should stop doing something that we have been doing.

How often have we heard “Bilingual education is beneficial” or “Bilingualism makes us smarter” without being given the specifics of what is meant by these general statements:

  • WHY do they say it is beneficial? Is it beneficial for every child or for specific socioeconomic groups?
  • WHY do they say bilingualism makes us smarter? In every way, shape and form or specific linguistic abilities?

As a society as a whole, we need to ask more questions when we hear something in the media. We need to ask why, who, when, where, what all of the time. Yes, bilingual education is beneficial and bilingualism does make us smarter but in specific areas.

Below is a fantastic conversation posted on the Multilingual Living Facebook page by Anita. It features Dr. Ellen Bialystok, Dr. Laura Ann Petitto and Peter Gazzellone. Before you watch it, here are some things that I encourage everyone to notice:

  • Note how carefully Dr. Bialystok gives her answers. She is making sure that the public understands that sweeping statements and judgments from research on bilinguals would be a mistake. I appreciate how careful and cautious she is.
  • Both researchers emphasize that their comments about “the benefits of bilingualism” are primarily to counteract past negative associations with bilingualism. They are not trying to say that bilingualism will turn us into geniuses.
  • Dr. Bialystok starts off this talk by pointing out that children pick up languages like they do because it is their full time job! If adults quit their jobs for a number of years and only focused on learning a language then they’d see a very high success rate as well!
  • Dr. Petitto points out that the key to bilingualism is consistent exposure over time. There are no magic bullets.
  • Dr. Bialystok puts special emphasize on the role that books play in strengthening bilingualism (something I agree with 100%!).

In How Many Countries Have You Lived?
Amazing! Let me say it again: amazing! I am in awe of the number of countries that Multilingual Living friends have lived. Below is a small snipit of the wonderful answers. I felt like I was taking a trip around the world as each comment came in! Make sure to visit the Multilingual Living Facebook post for to read all of the inspiring answers and then add your own! The answers are still coming in!

While on the Multilingual Living Facebook page, make sure to click the LIKE button to let us know that you like what you see!

Bilingual Blogging Carnival
Multilingual Mania is hosting the April Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism and it looks great!

I finally got my act together and submitted a post as well. It such a delight to be included in this group of amazing bloggers that love bilingualism! If you write a blog that has something to do with bilingualism, head over to the link above and find out how you can join in the fun!
Are Our Accents Lovely or Embarrassing?
Our accents. Do we love them or hate them? Do people treat us with more respect or ignore us because of how we sound when we open our mouths? Or do they not care either way?

Two posts this week focused on this emotional topic – read them and share your thoughts:

Name the Language
How many languages in this interactive online Name the Language quiz can you identify? Start with just the voices or click the note button to get the script for some help. Thank you @ddeubel for making this challenging and enjoyable quiz!

Name the Language

How’s Your Multilingual Journey Going?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. What’s answer? Below are a few of the fantastic responses. Head over to the Multilingual Living Facebook page to read all of them. Make sure to add your own!

Superman Renounces His US Citizenship
Find out why Superman has finally decided to give up his US citizenship in the post Superman Renounces U.S. Citizenship in ‘Action Comics’ #900. “Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime…”.

Comic book fantasy or real life? You be the judge.


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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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Gabi Untersperger May 4, 2011 at 2:12 am

Hi Corey,
I am the coordinator of LISA-JUNIOR International Primary school in Linz/Austria.
First of all I have to say that I really like Multilingual Living very much and I often use your site to help me argue for learning a second language in school.
This video is perfect. It’s easy to understand how language learning happens in our brains. I find Dr. Petitto excellent. She explains so well and argues for exposing the kids even in early years to another language!!!
I wanted to know if it’s ok for you to set this video onto our website in order to help our parents understand and realize how important language learning is for our kids.
Hope to hear from you soon.


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