About the Founder

Multilingual Living was founded by Corey Heller in early 2003.  It was originally named the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network and is the home of Multilingual Living Magazine, a popular digital publication dedicated to families raising bilingual and multilingual children.

Multilingual Living is a place where parents raising children in more than one language and culture can find inspiration, tools, advice, wisdom and support!  It is about living multilingually, in each and every way possible.

We recommend that you visit the Getting Started page if you would like to learn more about what this site is all about and how you can get started in raising multilingual children.

Or read below to learn more about Corey Heller, the founder of Multilingual Living.

Multilingual Living founder, Corey Heller. Photo taken by her 6 year old son.

Corey, an American, and her German husband are raising and homeschooling their three children bilingually in German and English (plus adding in Spanish and French as much as possible).  Although not a native speaker of German, Corey and her husband decided early on that it would be her language of communication between herself and her children and husband so that they could practice the “minority language at home” (ml@h) approach while living in the USA.

Since 2001 Corey has been researching childhood and family bilingualism and multilingualism, working with experts in the field and exchanging stories and wisdom with other parents of bilingual and multilingual children around the world.  This is both her life and her passion.  Her goal with Multilingual Living is to create a centralized location for discussion, conversation and connection for multilingual and multicultural families around the world.

While on a year-long Education Abroad Program in 1991-1992 in Galway, Ireland, Corey and her German husband met and fell in love.  She moved to Kiel, Germany in the Fall of 1992 where she immersed herself in her husband’s language and culture, taking intensive immersion language classes 5 days a week at the local evening school and then at university.  In 1995, she and her husband moved to Seattle, Washington, USA for graduate school – where they have been living ever since!

After the birth of their first child in 2001, Corey and her husband decided that both of them would speak German with their son (and any future children) even though it was not Corey’s native language.  Although this was an exciting and exhilarating decision, it also sparked a whole series of questions and concerns.

Corey and her husband started a search for information on raising children in more than one language and culture but quickly found that support, information and resources were lacking. Thus, in 2003 they founded the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network, an organization dedicated to bringing support, wisdom and expertise to families raising children in more than one language and culture.

For many years, the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network organized local gatherings, speakers, and with help from another bilingual mother, Karen Wegehenkel, and Corey’s brother, Thomas Spellman, they created a website packed with information.

Corey (middle) with brother (left) and her bilingual kids.

It quickly became clear that the issues which Corey and her husband were facing were universal among families around the world raising children in more than one language and culture.  The Parent Television Network included Corey, her husband, and members of the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network in a program on Bilingual Families.  The word was spreading like wildfire!

WATCH the Bilingual Families TV program HERE!

As more and more families around the world started contacting her to request resources and information, Corey started giving lectures on raising bilingual children and created a monthly newsletter which quickly evolved into Multilingual Living Magazine, a respected digital publication which she and Alice Lapuerta, a mother living in Austria raising children trilingually, created and published.  Experts, researchers, parents and teachers all helped make the pages of Multilingual Living Magazine a resource of unparalleled value.

Unfortunately, the hours needed to create such a magazine eventually took their toll on Corey and Alice and they were forced to end the publication in early 2009 after Corey’s mother passed away from a two-year battle with breast cancer.  There is only so much that two mothers can do as volunteers, with hours stolen between taking care of children, maintaining a household, Corey working 35 hours a week at a paying job, and the death of a dear and beloved mother at the youthful age of 65.

NOTE: The back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine are still available and are PACKED with valuable research, information and wisdom.

Corey (far left) with her husband (far right, with brown shirt), kids and German in-laws.

But that was not to be the end.  The closing of the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network and Multilingual Living Magazine chapter has simply meant the opening of a new and more interactive chapter: Multilingual Living! Through her years of research and personal experience in raising multilingual children, Corey has realized that the most important element in our efforts is inspiration, community, love and excitement.  This website is where she hopes you will find all of that and more so that your multilingual living journey will be a joyful and fulfilling one!

We hope you take the time to share your thoughts with us via comments after each post or via email. There is nothing we love more than to hear from you about your experiences and what you would like to see more of here at Multilingual Living.

You can find a thriving Multilingual Living community at Facebook and up-to-date information about multilingualism and multiculturalism via Twitter.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list to receive FREE goodies and timely information, and sign up for our RSS feed (via your reader of choice or via your email) to hear about our posts as soon as they are published!

And if you want to read everything there is to know about raising children in more than one language, then get your hands on Multilingual Living Magazine today!

Multilingual Living is the place where Corey, joined by multilingual experts, parents and others, shares her knowledge, inspiration and support.  She hopes you will find Multilingual Living an inspirational place to visit and invites you to contact her with your stories, greetings, questions and whatever else you might wish to share about your multilingual and multicultural lives!

Corey and her husband (photo taken by their 5 year old daughter)

Corey on TV…
Watch Corey, her husband, her children and more in the Bilingual Families TV program! The TV program is from the early days of Corey’s first organization: Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network.

Corey on the radio…
Click on the player below to LISTEN to the Multilingual Living founder, Corey Heller, in a RADIO INTERVIEW with Kevin Henry, the Cultural Diversity Coordinator for the City of Bellevue, Washington, USA.  The interview is from a few years ago when Multilingual Living Magazine was still active (you can still get back issues!).

Warning: if your kids are listening with you, the radio interviewer talks about a Santa Claus realization when he was a kid!

 

Just click on the arrow above to listen!

Couldn’t do it without you…

  • A big THANK YOU to Oliver Kim for helping make this site come to life!  Couldn’t have done it without you!
  • A big THANK YOU to Karen Wegehenkel for the Multilingual Living banner and icons.
  • A big THANK YOU to Alice Lapuerta for EVERYTHING!  You are the content queen!!
  • Thomas Spellman, Corey’s brother, a big THANK YOU for continually providing us support via your server and love.
  • Of course, a super big THANK YOU to my amazing German husband and lovely children, you rock my world!
  • Finally – François, Jean-Marc, Madalena and so, so many more. A big THANK YOU for making this journey so special and meaningful for all of us!

Please feel free to contact Corey with your questions, comments, suggestions and anything else on your mind.  She hopes you will find Multilingual Living supportive, helpful and most of all inspiring!