Book Review – “Bilingual: Life and Reality” by François Grosjean, Ph.D.

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We live in an age in which self-help books of all kinds abound. And, although I swore off reading the Internet forums, blogs, and parenting books while I was pregnant with E. (okay, well, I read a few, but that’s for another post), I have made it my mission to resurrect all my graduate school notes and purchase almost every book – both popular and academic – written on the topic of bilingualism. (Nerd: guilty as charged.)  Continue reading

Myth #5: All you need is exposure

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Amig@s, happy Monday! I hope the weekend has left you rejuvenated to face a new week.

Today, I’m eager to address the fifth – and final (at least for a while) – myth surrounding bilingualism. If you’re interested in reading about the other four, you can check them out here, here, here, and here.

On those days when I find bilingual parenting difficult, I often catch myself wishing today’s myth were true, as it would make life raising my daughter in my second language so much easier:

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Myth #4: You have to be a native speaker to raise your child bilingually

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Friends, how was the weekend? D., E., and I took a car ride up to Pennsylvania to visit family (upcoming post…stay tuned!). Great time had by all, but boy, am I glad to be back in my own bed!

Today, it’s another installment of Myth Mondays here on the blog. If you’re just joining us today (welcome!), I feel I should explain that by no means is this blog meant to be the end-all be-all of bilingualism. The goal of this blog is to record my experience in this crazy fun adventure of bilingual parenting, which at times includes addressing related issues – including common misconceptions of bilingualism.

With that said, today I’d like to address the following myth:

Myth #4: You have to be a native speaker of a language to raise your child bilingually.

Fact: Even monolingual parents can raise bilingual children (Seriously!).

Continue reading

Myth #3: Code-switching means you’re not a true bilingual

¡Hola, amig@s! ¿Qué tal el fin de semana? Pues, por aquí hemos cambiado los relojes, perdiendo una hora de sol por las tardes (qué triste).

We’re back for another edition of “Myth Mondays!” Today’s post is inspired by a fantastic book by bilingual researcher François Grosjean, Bilingual: Life and Reality. Let’s unpack another common misconception that many people have about bilinguals:

MYTH: If a bilingual speaker mixes her language (“code-switching”), then it’s a sign that she’s lazy or that she’s not a true bilingual.

While on the surface this might appear to be a valid judgment, it is actually far, far from the truth.

A bit skeptical? Well, read on to find out what really goes on when bilinguals switch between two languages.
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Myth #2: Bilingualism will interfere with a child’s language acquisition

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Welcome back, friends, to the second installment of Myth Mondays! If you’re new to the blog, welcome! Check out my post on myth #1, as well as this post on “The Many Faces of Bilingual.”

Today, we’ll be addressing another common misconception: bilingualism will interfere with children’s language acquisition. Continue reading