Bilingual is Better

OPOL method

Translanguaging: A Very Normal Multilingual Phenomenon

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Some parents stop speaking to their children in their second language when the child seems “confused” because they use both languages simultaneously. The fact of the matter is that this is the way languages evolve when they come into contact. In fact, I have been meaning to record my 3-year-old’s colorful use of two languages. Just the other day she said, “Rafa (her older cousin), do you want to comer?” Another example is when she was asking me to buyRead More ...

Is My Own Multilingualism A Threat To My Children’s Minority Language?

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I am Polish, my husband is German and we live in the Netherlands. I was raised in a multilingual family — my mother speaks English and my father speaks French and they both speak Polish and German. With our children, we have naturally assumed the OPOL approach in which I speak Polish with them and my husband speaks German. I read a lot about bilingualism. All the books warned that it is normal for children to rebel against parents andRead More ...

Can Bilingualism Cause Alienation?

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We moved into a new house last May. I was so excited since I knew that there were a lot of children in the neighborhood.  There were boys the same ages as my sons living on either side of us. I envisioned my children having many fun afternoons playing with the other children in the community. Unfortunately, my visions of our new life in the neighborhood never came about. Things started out well. The day that the moving truck officiallyRead More ...

New Year’s Resolution: We Will Speak More Spanish at Home

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I began to learn Spanish a bit in grade school, and then in high school began the typical Spanish classes an hour a day. When I was a freshman, I traveled abroad for the first time to Peru with my dad to bring home my newly adopted brother and sister. This trip changed my life in uncountable ways: experiencing and living the language in bustling Lima and magical Cuzco cemented my love of Spanish and Latin culture. In college, IRead More ...

3 Methods to Raise Bilingual Children

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Before Vanessa started preschool a couple of months after she turned two, I often wondered how she was going to survive for four hours surrounded solely by English. I worried that others would think she had no manners because even though she already understood the concept of “gracias” and “por favor,” she knew nothing about “thanks” and “please.” I explained the situation to her teachers and they reassured me everything would be fine. You see, up until then, her lifeRead More ...

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