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Classic Arabic vs your local dialect – which one should your children learn?  [guest post]

Classic Arabic vs your local dialect – which one should your children learn? [guest post]

This article has been contributed by Tarek Rabie, founder of Hekayatona, a digital platform committed to encouraging children to read and learn Arabic. For more help and advice on how you can best support your child’s Arabic learning journey you can visit their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.  One of the biggest challenges […]

“Does my bilingual child have a language delay?”

“Does my bilingual child have a language delay?”

Amongst the most frequently expressed worries in different forums for parents raising bilingual children are concerns about potential delays in language development. Several research studies have found that bilingualism does not cause language delay (read more in e.g Dual Languages Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning by Paradis, Genesee & […]

15 books for parents and educators of bilingual children

15 books for parents and educators of bilingual children

Holidays are a great time for catching up on reading books! You probably have a long list that you would like to enjoy, but in case you are looking for something on bilingual children, I have prepared a list of books from my own library, which I can all warmly recommend. If you can’t find […]

Multilingual families – a force for good in a world less united

Multilingual families – a force for good in a world less united

We live in a world where those who try to create divisions between people of different countries, creeds and cultures are getting more and more vocal and who try to disrupt the stability in way that leads to discrimination, abuse, displacement of families, fear and even to devastating loss of lives. As a parent and […]

Translanguaging as a way of enhancing learning

Translanguaging as a way of enhancing learning

This week’s topic is another manifestation of bilingual living: translanguaging. If you look up the term in Wikipedia, it is described as “the dynamic process whereby multilingual language users mediate complex social and cognitive activities through strategic employment of multiple semiotic resources to act, to know and to be” Clear? For linguists maybe, but not […]

Pen pals open the world, keep friends close and bring joy

Pen pals open the world, keep friends close and bring joy

I remember it like yesterday, the first letter I received from my South Korean pen friend Yong-Suk. I was 14 and it felt like a miracle: A young boy, on the other side of the world had sat down, picked out his writing pad, put pen to paper and talked to me about who he […]

Q&A: How to define a bilingual child's mother tongue and choose the right school language?

Q&A: How to define a bilingual child’s mother tongue and choose the right school language?

Question Hello, I am from a Gujarati family and till graduation I studied in Gujarati then I did my MBA. My wife’s name is from Rajasthan and till graduation she studied in Hindi, then did her MBA. We have a 3-year-old daughter and we are planning her education. We have met a number of people […]

Professor François Grosjean - on bilingualism, language mode and identity

Professor François Grosjean – on bilingualism, language mode and identity

Fantastic interview with Professor François Grosjean, my all-time favourite specialist on bilingualism, conducted by Fabrice Jaumont, Education Attaché at the Cultural Services in New York. The video is brimming with useful information, to-the-point observations and helpful advice on raising bilingual children, not forgetting interesting insights into Professor Grosjean’s own bilingual background. The interview lasts about […]

Why language skills matter – to me, you and our children, and the world

Why language skills matter – to me, you and our children, and the world

“Why have you chosen to write about bilingual children and languages, surely there are more important things in the world – why don’t you write about how important science is?” – this is a question I once got in a comment. The simple answer is – I believe I know quite a lot about bilingual […]

Receptive bilingualism – understanding but not speaking a language

Receptive bilingualism – understanding but not speaking a language

When discussing the language skills of children in multilingual families, you occasionally come across the situation where a child has learnt to understand a language, but is unable (or unwilling) to speak it. Quite often you will find this described as passive bilingualism – I have used this expression myself, until Professor Grosjean pointed out […]