Multilingual Living Newsletter – September 7

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Multilingual Living
September 7, 2011
Dear Multilingual Living Friends,

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada mountains in California!

As I write this, I am sitting under the oak trees at my childhood home in Nevada City, California. This is the first time that I have visited since my mother’s death a few years back. Things have changed here but my mother would have loved the changes as much as I do, especially the expansive garden right off the side deck. Fresh berries for breakfast, plump red tomatoes ready for our lunchtime sandwiches and ripe zucchini for dinner. Sunflowers shade us from the warm afternoon sun while mint, sage and basil share their pungent aromas.

Our drive here was as varied as always: cool mountain breezes at Crater Lake followed by sweltering valley heat and then a foggy shoreline at Bodega Bay Head. Transitions and variations overlapping one another.

My children took all of this in stride. They are accustomed to such road trips – we take one every other year. Yet, as they get older, language takes on a more prominent role. My children stretch their language muscles, making conscious decisions about which language to use when and with whom. Language is power and my children know this fully and completely. They have become masters of the languages which they possess and wield this power with conscious effort and precision.

As I share in Multilingual Road Trip! When Languages Collide, I appeal to my children with empathy and dialog when we visit monolingual family and friends. I remind my children that their languages are powerful entities that at times may be misunderstood. Choosing to speak German at the table when English-speaking family members are around is just fine, but family may end up feeling a little left out. My family delight in hearing my children speak German but they also would love to hear how my children experience the world around themselves in their own (English) words (rather than my translations).

Language really, truly is power. We often forget that we possess something that can impact others on a very deep level. We need not change who we are. We simply need to remember to respect our unique strength and to wield it wisely and lovingly. With multilingualism comes the weight of linguistic responsibility.

Many Warm Summer Wishes from California,

Corey Heller
Founder, Multilingual Living

Teach Your Child to Read All Languages

Did you know that we worry the most about teaching our child to read in more than one language? Can we do it at the same time? YES! Can we do it consecutively? YES! But my language is not phonetic! That’s ok!

Read Biliteracy: Bilingual Children Can Learn to Read Any Language for our tips and suggestions about how to go about this exciting adventure! 

Marie Learns to Read in English and German

This summer Marie, my 6 year old daughter, decided that she wanted to learn to read. We found a few easy books around the house in German and English and followed her lead. Her favorite books have been her Bob Books in English. Here she is reading two of them:

To watch all of our videos, head over to the Multilingual Living YouTube page.

 Learning to Read and Write – Excerpts: 

We have finished our excerpts from Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family. In case you missed any, here they are in all of their multiliterate glory:

Which Languages Should We Choose?

What should we do when we have three languages to choose from? Is it best if we stick with just one? Madalena answers:


Latest Forum Discussions…

Here are just a few of the latest discussions taking place on the Multilingual Living Forum:

How, When, Why Stories?

Stories are essential to raising bilingual children! Our stories, the stories of others, stories of our cultures, stories of our languages, stories of our histories. Find out more in the post:


Sign Up! Raising Bilingual Children Seminar

The next seminar is coming! Join me on October 15th from 9:30-12:30 at Bellevue College for information, research, discussion and more all about raising bilingual children. Here is the information:

Why Immigrants Need to Learn Their Languages

Why is it that so many immigrant children lose their language? Find out why and how immigrants can keep their heritage languages alive – it can make all the difference in their lives!

Multilingual Road Trip!

We are on a road trip from Seattle to Northern California. Find out why a road tip is a lot like raising multilingual children…

Find out our language collisions with monolingual family and friends in my post:


Help an International Student!

Looking for a way to help out an international student? Look no further than FIUTS (The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students). You won’t regret it!

When Did School Start? Are We Musical?

It is fascinating to find out when school starts for different children around the world! Read answers from Multilingual Living Facebook fans in our Weekend Review Post.

At the same post you will also find our what parents have to say about the instruments their children play. Wow, are we ever musical!

While at the Multilingual Living Facebook page, make sure to click the LIKE button so show the world you believe in Multilingual Living!

1000+ Pages of Research & Answers!

Want to read articles from the top experts in the field of bilingualism while supporting Multilingual Living? Then get your hands on the back issues of Multilingual Living Magazine! Answers are in these issues!

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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