Multilingual Living Newsletter – May 31

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Multilingual Living
Weekly Newsletter
May 31, 2011
Dear Multilingual Living Friends, 

As I write this the sunshine is flooding through the trees in front of my house. It is 8:00 in the evening and the sun is just about to settle itself on the horizon. It is warm. It is peaceful. Although there were raindrops this morning, I do believe summer is finally arriving in Seattle.

I am often reminded by nature that everything is cyclical. Winter comes with its cold fury. Spring brings temperamental rains and the loveliest of blossoms. Summer is hot and fiery and dry. Fall guides us home again as we dance with the falling leaves.

Like the story of the blind men and the elephant, if we focus purely on one season, we forget that it soon will transition to yet another. Nothing is static. Nothing is forever. What today seems written in stone will tomorrow be shattered and rewritten again. This goes for most everything in our lives, whether we like it or not.

The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can embrace the ups and downs of our multilingual parenting journey fully and completely. Today’s turbulations with our children will be the highlight of family reunions in years to come. Before we know it, we will be laughing with our children about their adamant refusal to speak to their aunt Mildred in her language. We will tell our grandchildren how cute their parents were when mixing their languages. We’ll smile in delight as our growing children gradually come to embrace their unique multicultural lives and ask us what it was like to grow up in our native lands.

The key is to keep smiling no matter what. The bitter cold of winter always eventually gives way to the gentle rains of spring. The sweltering heat of summer will soon become leaves of brilliant orange blown by autumn winds. Even the most turbulent of seasons contains within it something of beauty.

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


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Cognitive Benefits Come from Daily Usage

In Sunday’s Week in Review post we shared a fantastic interview with Dr. Bialystok titled “The Advantages of Bilingualism.” Thank you everyone for sending me the link via Facebook, Twitter and email! It was wonderful to hear from all of you!

In the interview, Dr. Bialystok talks about details of her research, points out that using our our languages consistently is the key to cognitive benefits, and tells us which languages her grandchildren speak. Don’t miss it!

Give Your Native Speaker a Break!

Do you have a native speaker spouse or partner? Do you depend on him/her for your second language learning? Make sure to read Don’t Rely on Your Native Speaker Partner Too Much for Second Language Learning! today! I just might save you and your partner from a lot of grief.

What about an Adopted Child?

You have finally brought your wonderful adopted child home. You are ecstatic! But what should you do now? How can you best help your child adjust to the language(s) in your household? Madalena answers this question in the post How Can We Help Our Adopted Child Become Bilingual?

For those who have experienced this already, please share your thoughts in the comment section after the post! We’d love to hear what your personal experiences have been.

Latest Forum Discussions…

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

Do You Know Where You Are Headed?

Are you sure you know where you are headed? Is it north? Or maybe west? What about the terrain? You need to get oriented before you continue on your multilingual parenting journey! Learn about how to do this in The ABCs of Multilingual Parenting: The Letter O. And make sure to add your own O tips!

Bilingual Brain Scans

What do all of those brain scans on bilinguals tell us? Do bilinguals have more brain activity? If so, where and what does it all mean? Do we use the same areas of the brain as monolinguals? Learn more about this in our Week in Review post where we share the link to the article “The Advantages of Being Bilingual.”

Our Best Bilingual Friend: The Dictionary

As we all know, raising children bilingually is not the same as teaching a language. There is no need to drill our children with vocabulary flash cards. Leave that to times tables.

However, we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater either. Maria shows us how using dictionaries can be the most enjoyable activity in our bilingual household. You can’t imagine how this could be possible? Read Bilingual Homeschooling: How to Use Visual Dictionaries & Word Books for Language Learning and you will want to go out and get your very own set today!

Who’s Better: Native Speaker or Multilingual?

If you are going to learn a new language, what would you look for in a teacher? Would you search out a monolingual native speaker? Or would you opt for the non-native multilingual?

In our Week in Review post we share the link to an article about this (as well as a blog post from a Multilingual Living reader). We also share your Facebook comments about what you think. Please weigh in with your thoughts!

Will Every Child Become Multilingual?

The articles are pouring in about dual language schools. Are they the answer to our problems? Will dual-language schools give every child the opportunity to grow up multilingually?

Check out the News, Stories and More links at the bottom of our Week in Review post. There you will find a number of articles about the rise of dual-language schools. Fascinating!

Your Questions Are Answered Here…

Would you like to have all of you multilingual questions answered by foremost experts in the field? Then get your hands on the back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine! All of the answers are there!

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!

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