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Can monolingualism make you ill?

Can monolingualism make you ill?

Can monolingualism make you ill?   “Is monolingualism making us ill?” was the somewhat provocative title of an excellent talk by Dr Thomas Bak, neuroscientist and dementia researcher at the University of Edinburgh, which I was fortunate to listen to last week. Alongside many other language enthusiasts from different organisations: schools, universities, businesses, charities and […]

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 […]

Q&A: Can learning difficulties be due to bilingualism and how to assess this?

Q&A: Can learning difficulties be due to bilingualism and how to assess this?

Question Hello I am a school psychologist who has been asked to evaluate a student for special services that is also considered to be English Language Learner (ELL). He is currently six years of age. The records indicate that the primary language of the home is Spanish, both parents were born in Puerto Rico and speak […]

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 […]

Bilingualism – choice or necessity?

Bilingualism – choice or necessity?

Growing up bilingual is another aspect of my early childhood which was a given for me (last week I wrote about how I took for granted my right to speak my mother tongue at school). I really had no choice, as my mother spoke Finnish with me and my father Swedish. They did not have […]

Q&A: Teaching a possibly dyslexic child to read and write in the minority language.

Q&A: Teaching a possibly dyslexic child to read and write in the minority language.

Question I am a Swedish national living in the UK with my husband and 10-year-old daughter. The main language we speak at home is English, and Swedish is the minority language. My husband does not speak Swedish, whereas our daughter speaks it more or less fluently, although she does not write or read it. We […]

One parent, one language – OPOL is dead, long live OPOL!

One parent, one language – OPOL is dead, long live OPOL!

Which strategy should you use to raise your bilingual child? Ask the question and you can be forgiven for getting all confused with the different viewpoints you are offered both by experts and other parents. Today I will take a closer look at the best-known of the family language strategies: one parent, one language, aka […]

Notes and pictures from Malta and the International Conference on Bilingualism

Notes and pictures from Malta and the International Conference on Bilingualism

Merħba! (‘welcome’ in Maltese) I am currently in Malta an enjoying myself immensely on so many levels – it is my first trip to this gorgeous island with its jovial, friendly people (and slightly nutty drivers), and I am also attending the International Conference on Bilingualism arranged by the University of Malta. The first two […]

International Mother Language Day 2015 - #IMLD campaign

International Mother Language Day 2015 – #IMLD campaign

The International Mother Language Day is observed every year on the 21st of February. UNESCO officially proclaimed the day in 1999 with the aim to promote “linguistic diversity and multilingual education” and to develop the “awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions all over the world” thereby inspiring “international solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue”. Language […]

Book review: Colin Baker's “A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism”

Book review: Colin Baker’s “A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism”

“My child mixes their two languages. Is this normal?” “Neither of us speaks a second language. How can we help our child become bilingual?” “How do I know my child’s language development in each language is normal and acceptable?” “What language strategies are used in immersion classrooms?” These are just four of the 144 questions […]