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...
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...
daily show lewis black

Multiculturalism failed? Change your educational system!

Earlier this week, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor remarked that Germany’s attempt at multiculturalism was a total failure and that Germany’s immigrants need to learn German to integrate. I thought about the problems of...

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...
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...
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...
Spy

Why the CIA needs me and other 1st and 2nd generation immigrants for language...

I keep getting messages from the CIA on Linked In because they need 1st and 2nd generation immigrants to fill their huge need for foreign language speakers. According to this Reuters article, U.S. spy agencies...
US Department of Education

Proposed cuts in funding for foreign language programs in US

Public foreign language programs may now be cut or eliminated because of education budget cuts to the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), the only source of federal funding for K-12 foreign language programs. This...

Special “foreigner treatment”: please no! I’m a heritage speaker.

Usually, I don’t want to attract attention to my not being a local by asking for special treatment when I am in a Russian speaking country. Because as soon as I tell...
Russian heritage speaker

Multilingualism: Being a Russian heritage speaker in the former USSR

  Professor François Grosjean, the Emeritus Professor of psycholinguistics at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland is a specialist in bilingualism, multilingualism and heritage language speakers. Last week, he wrote a blog piece, Portraying Heritage Language Speakers: Heritage...

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