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Speaking in Tongues documentary on public television

Speaking in Tongues is a documentary about raising multilingual children. I just saw it on public television in the US and it's excellent. It shows the controversy over bilingual education and how and why families...
Men and women, different languages

Why female foreign language students or speakers may not practice or show their languages

Multilingual women, where are you? In late January, I had a Skype call with Benny Lewis for about two hours to discuss our language learning trajectories and I asked him why there were more male...
Student ridiculed

Speaking your native (heritage) language despite ridicule

It’s assumed that just because I grew up speaking Russian that it was always easy for me to speak Russian. No way! My parents’ Soviet immigrant friends liked to talk about how well their children...

How to raise a bilingual or multilingual kid

I am typing this just after having a trilingual conversation with my nephew who just came back from Ecuador. When I speak to him in Russian, he responds in Spanish. When I speak to...
Adult students studying together

How languages change the psychology of multilinguals

Steve Kaufmann, of LingQ, invited Tetsu Yung and I on his podcast to discuss how we change psychologically when we speak in different languages and the politics of learning certain languages. For years, I've felt...
Languages Signpost Meaning English Chinese Spanish And French

Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen.

A quiz: If a person who speaks three languages is trilingual, and one who speaks four languages is quadrilingual, what is someone called who speaks no foreign languages at all? Answer: an American. Primero Hay Que...

Multilingual identity: I have to speak all my languages to be ME

So far, I've written about language learning and the importance of being multilingual. But I haven't covered a much more personal and psychological element of being a polyglot: my multilingual identity. I joke that...
People communicate online in different languages communication concept

Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual: The brain’s real super-food may be learning new...

A recent article in Newsweek, Why it's smart to be bilingual, shows some positive and negative elements of multilingualism. I didn't know that those who know more than one language may have a reduced vocabulary...
brain power

Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

Last week, National Public Radio (NPR) reported a story, Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power, that bilingual children may have more brain power and that Alzheimer's disease may be delayed or averted if one...

Multilingual California beaten by Rhode Island, offering trilingual school

I live in Silicon Valley where Mandarin Chinese is widely spoken by the large Taiwanese and mainland Chinese community in the area. However, the schools in Cupertino only offer Mandarin immersion programs from Kindergarten...

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