Bilingual is Better

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How to Turn any Event into a Learning Opportunity

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Although sometimes I long for a few minutes of silence, the reality is that I love the fact that my three-year-old daughter, Vanessa, talks non-stop. Her vocabulary in Spanish is extensive and I know it has to do with the fact that I’ve talked to her since she was in my belly. In fact, many studies show that the amount of conversations and the variety of words that children listen to have a direct influence on the pace at whichRead More ...

Is There Such Thing as a Critical Period for Language Learning?

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I was recently talking to somebody of Hispanic descent who wasn’t taught Spanish at home, but learned it later on in life. She vowed she wouldn’t follow her parents’ footsteps, but ended up doing exactly the same thing with her kids who are now elementary school-aged. “And, now it’s too late!” she lamented. I immediately reassured her that it’s never too late – that’s just a common myth. It is, however, definitely much easier the younger they are. If you’reRead More ...

Ask an Expert: Will a Spanish Immersion Education Work for Us?

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This post was originally published on June 22nd, 2009. One of the most helpful and resourceful experts we met while doing research for these articles on language immersion programs was Cristina Aguilar Allen. She is the Dual Immersion Facilitator for the Glendale (California) Unified School District’s Foreign Language Academies of Glendale (FLAG) which offers elementary language programs in Spanish, Korean, Italian, German and Armenian. Cristina has 25 years of experience as a Spanish bilingual teacher and a Master’s Degree inRead More ...

Yes, it is a Great Idea to Raise them Bilingual!

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The following is a guest post by bilingualism expert, Dr. Fred Genesee, Professor of Psychology at McGill University in Canada. There are many good reasons for raising children bilingually. First and foremost are personal and family reasons. If members of the immediate family or extended family include people who speak other languages, then it is a benefit for everyone if your child speaks their languages. This is especially true if some family members speak only one language and might beRead More ...

What Does it Mean to Be Bilingual?

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While I was registering to get the H1N1 vaccine this weekend at the local high school, the lady who was taking in the forms very politely asked if I’d rather get the information in Spanish. (I guess she’d overheard us while we were making the line.) I, also very politely, answered that it didn’t matter because I was bilingual. I don’t know if, at first, she didn’t understand me because she asked the question again. So, I repeated that eitherRead More ...

5 Ways to Enrich Your Child’s Bilingual Vocabulary

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More than one study has proven that the best way for children to develop their language and reading skills is through dialogue. This is particularly important for bilingual children. It is a fallacy to think that just sitting your child in front of the television set to watch a program in Spanish or to let them mouse around with a bilingual computer game will expose them to the kind of vocabulary needed to become proficient in the minority language. SoRead More ...

Dual Language Immersion Programs

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This post was originally published on March 26, 2009. Although I believe I already was a supporter of dual language immersion programs prior to the extensive research I’ve done to put together this education series, now that I’ve learned more of its intricacies I can definitely say I have become one of its fervent advocates. Allow me to  tell you why. A well-designed dual immersion program encompasses the “best of both worlds,” as I was told repeatedly by the educatorsRead More ...

Bilingual Education: A Definition

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Photo by Gaetan Lee Back in March, we published a series of entries related to the complex subject of bilingual education. Ana Lilian and I spent a bunch of time researching this topic: interviewing some of those involved in this area of education–including parents and teachers–and even visiting a few schools which offer this option to their communities. Since they were pretty popular with our readers, this week we’ve decided to re-post them in case you might have missed themRead More ...

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