5 Steps to Living Multilingually

Multilingual Living Family

Multilingual Living founder, Corey Heller, with family in front of Mt. Saint Helens

Welcome to Multilingual Living! We are so glad you came for a visit!

Do you speak more than one language and/or live with more than one culture? Do you feel that your multilingualism is an integral part of who you are as a human being? Are you a multilingual family? Are you raising bilingual children? Do you want to pass on your multilingual and multicultural experiences to your children?

Then you have come to the right place because…
we know just how you feel!

What is Multilingual Living all about?

 Multilingual Living is about inspiring.
Multilingual Living is about motivating.
Multilingual Living is about enlivening.
Multilingual Living is about connecting.

But most of all…

Multilingual Living is about LIVING!

It is about living an adventure,
with your whole family, your whole community, your whole world!

Let’s join together in this inspiring, motivating and enlivening adventure! It is so much more fun with other multilinguals as travel companions!

5 Steps to Multilingual Living

Whether we have been living multilingually as a family for a while, are just getting started, or are just thinking about it, below are 5 steps to get us started on our multilingual adventure and to keep us on track as our journey progresses.

What are these 5 steps?

 These 5 steps are the big-ticket items that can make or break our family’s language adventure.  Whether we bring our red or blue toothbrush for the journey doesn’t really matter.  We can’t get caught up in the little details right now.

We need to focus on whether we have enough food and water, whether our shoes will hold up for the whole trip, and what we’ll do if we get caught in an unexpected snowstorm.

And once we have our 5 steps worked out.  Once we are all packed for our language adventure and ready to go… then what?

This is when we can really enjoy Multilingual Living.

Why? Because Multilingual Living is about the daily language adventure itself.  It is about making this language journey together with our loved ones.

Without inspiration and passion, creating a bilingual/multilingual family is not only difficult but makes us miss out on all the fun!

Are you ready?

Then let’s make sure we have the 5 steps organized in our lives so that the real Multilingual Living journey can begin:


The first step along the way is to figure out where we are headed.  North, south, east or west?

We need to define some important elements such as:

  • What language(s) are we taking along with us on this journey?
  • Do I or my our spouse speak the language as a native speaker?
  • Will we be learning/speaking a language together with our family members?
  • Do we feel comfortable speaking the language?
  • Is your spouse on board with your language adventure plans?
  • Are we focused on second language learning, bilingualism or multilingualism?


Step two asks the question of how we are going to get to where we are headed.  The modes of transport are endless and there are many different ways to get to the same place!

  • Who will be speaking each language during our language journey?
  • When will each person speak each language as the journey progresses?
  • If we are learning a language along with our family members, how will we go about it?
  • How will we help ourselves and our children get (and stay) interested in the language?
  • Will we be able to speak it all the time or just once in a while?


Step three focuses on the terrain. We need to understand the lay of the land along our route.  What obstacles are we bound to face and how might we confront and resolve them?

  • What kind of language support do we have in our community?
  • Are our friends and family (especially spouse) on board with our language adventure plans?
  • Do we feel comfortable speaking the target language with our family members?
  • Have we thought about what our needs are going to be to continue with this language adventure?
  • Are we prepared for our family members to not want to join us in this wonderful language adventure?


It is important that we make sure that we have all of the equipment and food that we’ll need along the way.  We need to have the right gear to make the journey comfortable, fun and motivating!

  • What kinds of materials do we have available to help enhance the language?  Books?  DVDs?  Games?
  • Are there opportunities for us and our children to be around other adults and kids who speak the target language?
  • Will we travel to countries where the language is spoken?  If so, how often?
  • How often will we and our child hear and have the chance to use the target language?


The last preliminary step is to decide the duration of our language journey. Are we going to travel for a year or a lifetime? The length of our adventure will determine how far we can go.

  • Would we like our family to be able to speak the language enough to travel?
  • Perhaps we want our family to be able to converse comfortably with family in another country?
  • What are our thoughts on learning to read and write in more than one language?
  • Maybe we have even considered our children going to school in another country in another language?
  • We’ll have to start considering these questions now but we can adjust them along the trail.  Start searching for keywords on our website and read, read, read the articles.

Let the multilingual living adventure begin!

Here are some tips on navigating Multilingual Living:

  • To start, read our favorites on the right side of the website and start exploring from there.
  • Or enter a search word or phrase in the upper right of the site and see what you can find.
  • Leave comments for the articles that interest you and see who responds.  Ask questions in the article comments section if you’d like and see who answers.
  • Join the conversation on our Facebook page!
  • Watch our videos on our YouTube page!
  • And most importantly, read every back issue of Multilingual Living Magazine! The issues are now free to read, so enjoy!

Multilingual Living is packed with information so take time to search the site to see what you can find!

Thank you for joining us on this amazing multilingual living adventure!  So glad to have you as a travel companion!