Multilingual Living Contributors

Authors, Experts, Researchers and More…

Multilingual Living is the brain child of Corey Heller, founder of the Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network and Editor-In-Chief of Multilingual Living Magazine. She is an American originally from northern California married to a German. She and her husband have three children with whom they both speak German. During her studies in Ancient History, Corey learned Ancient and Modern Greek, Latin, German, French, Italian, Irish and even Linear A and B, ancient Bronze Age Minoan scripts. She met her husband while on an Education Abroad program in Galway, Ireland and spent the subsequent years living in Germany and traveling.  Corey devotes her time to providing content and direction for the website. She gives seminars and lectures on raising multilingual and multicultural children as well as other topics. Please contact her if you would like her to give a presentation or seminar for your organization, office, hospital or school.

Alice Lapuerta, the Editor of Multilingual Living Magazine, grew up in a trilingual household of German, Korean and English. She and her Spanish-speaking husband are raising their children trilingually in German, Spanish and English, which you can read more about her in her Jabberlingual column.

Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, PhD, University of Manchester, UK, is a multilingual parent, educator and scholar, and the author of Multilinguals are…?, a book on myths and misconceptions about multilingualism. Her blog Being Multilingual deals with multilingualism at home, in school and in clinic. Her contact, and details on her work, are at: You can also find a long list of her Ask An Expert answers in here on Multilingual Living as well as in the back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine.

Sarah Dodson-Knight is a former French teacher who now tutors, cooks, reads, writes, procrastinates, and coordinates an enrichment program called Reading Buddies at the public library. You can find her at Bringing up Baby Bilingual where she writes about raising children with more than one language and records her efforts to teach French as a non-native speaker to her son (Griffin, age 2), her nephew (Carl, age 4), as well as assorted kid and adult tutees.

Maria Hawkins grew up in New Mexico immersed in both Spanish and English. She has her National Teacher Certification in early childhood education and has taught in both bilingual and monolingual public schools. She currently keeps busy homeschooling her three bilingual children, teaching weekly Spanish classes for kids, and leading a Spanish Playgroup to support local bilingual families.

Professor François GrosjeanFrançois Grosjean, the author of Bilingual: Life and Reality, received his degrees up to the Doctorat d’Etat from the University of Paris, France. He started his academic career at the University of Paris 8 and then left for the United-States in 1974 where he taught and did research in psycholinguistics at Northeastern University, Boston. While at Northeastern he was also a Research Affiliate at the Speech Communication Laboratory at MIT. In 1987, he was appointed professor at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland, where he founded the Language and Speech Processing Laboratory. He has lectured occasionally at the Universities of Basel, Zurich and Oxford. In 1998, he cofounded Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (Cambridge University Press). Visit his website at: and his Psychology Today blog, Life as a bilingual, at:

Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert is British and married to a Frenchman. The family lives in France with their three more-or-less bilingual children, aged 13, 11 and 7. Suzanne has a Masters in Education and teaches English as a second language. She independently researches family bilingualism and multilingualism. Suzanne is the author of Language Strategies for Bilingual Families – the one parent-one language approach. (Multilingual Matters, 2004). Suzanne is on the Editorial board of The Bilingual Family Newsletter and writes a quarterly column: Notes from the OPOL Family about life with two languages and cultures. Her new book about siblings and bilingualism will be published soon.

Jacomine Nortier is associate professor in multilingualism and sociolinguistics at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She teaches at all university levels. According to European norms she is a monolingual, i.e., she grew up with Dutch as her only language, but like all Dutch children she learned English, German and French at school and she communicates in all three of them. As a university student she learned the Scandinavian languages Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, and later she learned Moroccan Arabic as well. Her PhD thesis (1989) was about code-switching between Dutch and Moroccan Arabic. More recent publications are about code-switching and increasingly about urban youth languages, multi-ethnolects and multilingual internet forums. Over the course of the next few months she will be writing columns for Multilingual Living about how academic knowledge helps us understand our daily multilingual lives.

Harriet CannonHarriet Cannon is a Marriage and Family Therapist and Consultant who works with individuals, families and businesses in life and work transitions. Ms Cannon has lived and worked both in the United States and in Chile. She has two grown children who were partially raised overseas. Please visit Ms Cannon’s website at to learn more about her as well as her contact information.

Dr. Xiao-lei Wang received her doctoral degree from the University of Chicago. She is a full professor in the School of Education at Pace University in New York. Dr. Wang is an interdisciplinary scholar. Her research covers a wide range of topics such as cultural parenting styles, effects of nonverbal communication in teaching and learning, multilingual development, and moral development. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on child development and parenting issues, and has published extensively in academic journals. Her recent book Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven focuses on the challenges and strategies of raising multilingual children.

Michał B. Paradowski is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw; he has also taught EFL at an elite high school. His interests include issues relating to second language acquisition research, the effects of formal instruction, and foreign language teaching in general. Dr Paradowski has authored a number of journal articles and book chapters, delivered presentations at several international conferences, and refereed submissions to recognized linguistics quarterlies.

Melissa Dedina is an American married to a Slovak, based in Prague, Czech Republic, raising a 3.5 year old daughter with English, Slovak and Czech. Melissa speaks English and Czech and understands Slovak, her husband speaks Slovak and English (and Czech, French, Hungarian and some Russian), and their daughter K speaks English and Slovak-Czech. You can follow their language learning and language mixing experiences at Where Going Havo?

Christiane Küchler Williams is a German university lecturer and writer, currently living in England with her American husband and their two sons. In addition to trying to raise the children bilingually, she can claim to have owned a bilingual parrot and currently a bilingual dog (if he listens at all).

Jennifer Planeta is a part-time writer, full-time mother and an occasional tutor, teacher and translator of Italian. She met her Polish husband while studying in Italy. They now live in Washington State and are raising their daughter in English and Italian with a pinch of Polish. She is passionate about learning other languages and experiencing life through a multicultural lens. She hopes to find herself back in Italy someday living on a beautiful piece of property with sheep.

Jim Porter, Speekee

Jim Porter is a co-founder of Speekee, the world’s number one Spanish language program for young children. Jim, who lives in Spain and has two bilingual children, is fascinated by the connections between thought and language. As a language teacher, his philosophy is to maintain simplicity so that students’ learning is as easy as possible at all times.

Melanie Taylor Herrera is a Panamanian bilingual writer. She has a Bachelor in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Music Therapy. She writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Spanish and non-fiction in English. In 2009, she won the Central American award “Rafaela Contreras” for short fiction written by women. Her work in Spanish has been published in magazines such as Americas, The Barcelona Review and Iguana Magazine. She has a blog called “Cuentos al Garete” and a free poetry book available at In English, she has been published in Diverse Magazine in Canada.
The Barcelona Review
Article in Jazz Times
Translation of an article about Panamanian drums

Keeping Things Going Behind the Scenes…

Oliver Kim is the technical guy behind the Website. His task is to make sure that the WordPress installment runs without problems. He is the brother of Alice Lapuerta and, too, was raised bilingually in German and English. When he does not tweak and tune the Web site, he works as a teacher in an international immersion school, where he teaches Biology and Computing. He is married and raises his son bilingually in German and English. Besides designing websites, he has two other true passions: the constructed language Esperanto, and his microscopy blog.

Thomas Spellman is Corey’s brother and a wonderful uncle to his niece and nephews! He does all of our server work and makes sure our website and email run smoothly. The Multilingual Living Website is hosted on his server. He is in charge of all server-related technical issues that need to be in place to operate a site like Multilingual Living.

Karen Wegehenkel is from Germany and is married to an American. Together she and her husband have one daughter whom they are raising bilingually and biculturally. Karen is a professional website designer and developer, photographer, artist and more. Karen designed to logo and graphics of this site. Learn more about Karen at: