Multilingual Living Newsletter – May 24

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Multilingual Living
Weekly Newsletter
May 24, 2011
Dear Multilingual Living Friends, 

Thank you everyone for your feedback about the new newsletter layout. There was so much positive response to it, we are sticking with it (at least for now). For those of you who may have trouble viewing this format, we have added a link at the very top of this email so that you can read it on our website. Please let us know if that is helpful!

This week our friend Mel from Tasmania was visiting. She is always an inspiration to my husband and me even though we often end up talking about our frustrations: global warming, the American health care system (or lack thereof), the spread of GMOs, and a whole list of topics that make us anxious and angry. Mel worked for many years for the Union of Concerned Scientists and just recently returned from a research stint in Antarctica. She has seen much of our world and knows more than many of us would care to know about its continual destruction.

One of reasons that Mel is such an inspiration is because she works tirelessly doing research and getting the word out about how to protect our earth despite the fact that very little seems to be done about it. It is a daily uphill battle with hardly ever a thank you in return.

In Mel I see the degree to which motivation, inspiration and a sense of purpose can keep us humans going. Mel wouldn’t be able to continue doing what she is doing without these. Day in and day out she witnesses intimately the destruction of our environment, yet she is also able to laugh with her friends and recharge herself with yoga and meditation. It is a balancing act of grand proportions.

Spending time with Mel reminds me to ask myself: What do I do to keep myself balanced, motivated, inspired and recharged?

How do you stay motivated and inspired in your multilingual parenting journey? How do you keep your language(s) alive and stay on track learning a new one? Have you found ways to recharge so that you can continue what you are doing day after day without becoming bored or frustrated or demoralized?

Even if others don’t value what we are doing, even if our children refuse to speak our language, even if we feel that all of our efforts are hopeless, there is still no reason to give it up. At the very least, we can do it for ourselves. We can enjoy the process even if it seems like our multilingual world is crumbling around us. In fact, the truth is that in the end we are the ones who thrive the most in our linguistic journey. Shouldn’t that be reason enough?

Many Warm Wishes from Seattle,
Corey Heller
Founder, Multilingual Living

Multilingualism in Decades Past

What did people from the past think about bilingualism and language learning? Was it seen as an asset or a disadvantage? You won’t want to miss the whole list of newspaper articles (going all the way back as far as 1818!) in our Week in Review post. A big thank you to Franck from @earlylanguages for getting the ball rolling on this!

Here is a sampling of headlines (and dates published):

  • Feb. 1956: Language Learning Up to Family
  • June 1954: Early Language Teaching Urged by Mrs. Roosevelt
  • Dec. 1897: English as the International Language
  • Jan. 1900: A Man Without a Language
  • Aug. 1818: A Situation Wanted

CLICK HERE to find these and a whole lot more!

Please Vote for Us!

If you haven’t done so already, please CLICK HERE to cast your vote for Multilingual Living in the Language Lovers 2011 contest. The voting will close very soon! It is all just for fun but we’d still love to get your vote!

Yes, There Are Rules to Code-switching

We continue in our tradition of publishing articles by researchers from around the world with a new series by Prof. Jacomine Nortier. Her articles will focus on how academic knowledge can help us understand our daily multilingual lives. Jacomine starts with an excellent one all about the unspoken rules of code-switching: Code-switching Is Much More than Careless Mixing: Multilinguals Know the Rules! Stay tuned for the next articles in the series!

It’s Working!

I’ve found my language-learning groove! Find out what my top tips are in week 12 of Language REFRESH 101. And listen to my Language Refresh 101 video to find out who saw my last video and sent me an email about it! Very neat!

Latest Forum Discussions…

Here are some of the latest discussions taking place on the Multilingual Living Forum:

Multilingual Parents Must Learn to Negotiate

If there is anything we need to learn in our multilingual parenting journey, it is that negotiation is simply part of the process. Read this week’s article about multilingual parenting and negotiations to get some ideas on when and how to go about it.

Code-switching in Action

Even if you don’t read the whole article, don’t miss the these two code-switching videos! What do you think about them? Does hearing children and adults code-switch make you feel uncomfortable? Or does it make you feel joyful and delighted?

Why Bilingual Children and Parents Succeed

Even though we have brain research to back us up, there are so many other reasons why bilingual children and adults thrive. The most important one comes from our dedication and motivation: Parents who are involved in their children’s lives make all the difference. Here are two articles from two different angles that flesh this out:


It is an honor to be able to do a giveaway with Michelle at Mother Tongues! Head to our post, Giveaway – $40 at Mother Tongues, and enter to win $40 worth of products of your choice. Aside from having the chance to win, I am sure you will be delighted to get to know Michelle and her wonderful business!

A Tribute to Multilingual Living

What a lovely gift came our way last week! It came in the form of a Multilingual Living testimonial video from Marcela Hede from Hispanic Culture Online. What an amazing honor! I hope that each of you will hear Marcela’s words and know that they go out to you as well! What she says about this community could never be what it is without you having made it so. Thank you Marcela and everyone who lives a multilingual life!

Give a Gift of Multilingualism to Those You Love!

Would you like to support Multilingual Living while at the same time sharing your love of multilingualism with those you love? Consider purchasing the back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine for a loved one!

Here are just a few of the experts you will find in Multilingual Living Magazine: Colin Baker, François Grosjean, Jean-Marc Dewaele, Fred Genesee, Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Jasone Cenoz, Aneta Pavlenko, Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, Xiao-lei Wang, Barbara Zurer, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, and many, many more!

Purchase the back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine and you will be helping to keep Multilingual Living alive and vibrant! Thank you!

Come find us where we hang out:


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