The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School – The New York Times

This is a great piece by Héctor Tobar, a Journalism professor at the University of Oregon.  By telling a personal story about his growing up in Los Angeles and the effect that had and interweaving some education policy talk, Tobar illustrates the important connection between bilingualism and political power.  Policies like the one in effect until recently in California literally silence minority communities.

This is part of the broader picture I’m beginning to see of bilingualism as a type of resistance that is radical in its unifying power and transgressive in its rejection of dominant culture.  Of course, in my local situation, in Japan, the power structure is turned upside-down.  So, my struggle, strangely enough is teaching my children English against the background of Japanese majority culture and language.  But, of course, globally, Western European (White), colonial, English-speaking is the giant.  I suppose everywhere you go will have its own unique language situation with various kinds and levels of dominance and resistance being played out.  In North America its pretty much English versus all-comers.  And this California law is recognition of the diversity of the United States and a victory for what might be called linguistic justice.

Source: The Spanish Lesson I Never Got at School – The New York Times

Guest Post: What I’ve Learned From My First Two Years of Bilingual Parenting – Bilingual Monkeys

When I first came across Bilingual Monkeys, I didn’t know it yet, but it was the beginning of my efforts to pay a lot closer attention to my son’s language learning.  This is a short reflection I wrote for that blog.  Thanks as always to Adam Beck for his editorial support and for maintaining such a cool website.

Source: Guest Post: What I’ve Learned From My First Two Years of Bilingual Parenting – Bilingual Monkeys

Bilingual Travelers: Wedding Bells and a Bilingual Boost in the United States – Bilingual Monkeys

My son, Oliver, was born in a suburb of Hiroshima, Japan in the fall of 2013 while I was still busy wrapping up my masters degree at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  This is the story of our second trip back to my hometown, Asheville, North Carolina.  Published on the great bilingualism blog, Bilingual Monkeys.

Source: Bilingual Travelers: Wedding Bells and a Bilingual Boost in the United States – Bilingual Monkeys

Why Raising a Bilingual Child Matters in a World Gone Mad – Bilingual Monkeys

From the horror of Hiroshima to the terror of Paris, the world is mad. It’s hard to imagine that this madness can ever really be overcome, at least not until the human mind evolves into a higher state of health and wisdom. But where does that leave us now, in these violent times?

Source: Why Raising a Bilingual Child Matters in a World Gone Mad – Bilingual Monkeys

Bilingual Children and Distant Grandparents: What We’ve Done – Bilingual Monkeys

Sometimes I face this argument: Your children can always learn the minority language later. Why focus so much on fostering this language now? Strictly speaking, this is true: children can indeed learn a second (or additional) language at an older age, given suitable circumstances. But this argument …

Source: Bilingual Children and Distant Grandparents: What We’ve Done – Bilingual Monkeys

One Person–One Language and Bilingual Children | François Grosjean | Psychology Today

The amazing beginning of modern OPOL

 

One Person–One Language and Bilingual Children | Psychology Today

by François Grosjean

For a full list of “Life as a bilingual” blog posts by content area, see here.

References

– De Houwer, Annick (2007). Parental language input patterns and children’s bilingual use. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 411-424.

– Ronjat, Jules (1913). Le développement du langage observé chez un enfant bilingue. Paris: Edouard Champion.

– Barron-Hauwaert, Suzanne (2004). Language Strategies for Bilingual Families: The One-Parent-One-Language Approach. Bristol / Buffalo / Toronto: Multilingual Matters.

François Grosjean’s website.