Why do some children who grow up hearing two languages only use one? Our guest, Dr. Annick De Houwer, has been researching this question for years. De Houwer is a professor of language acquisition and multilingualism at the University of Erfurt in Germany and the founder of the Harmonious Bilingualism Network (HaBilNet). We spoke to her about her work, bilingual language development, and what she calls harmonious bilingualism.
De Houwer has conducted extensive research in the field of bilingual acquisition and language development. Her 1990 book “The acquisition of two languages from birth” is considered pioneering work in bilingual acquisition. In addition to her linguistic research, she also examines the socio-emotional aspects of early bilingualism. De Houwer introduced the concept of harmonious bilingual development in 2006.
Welcome to the first episode of Cuéntamelo: Your Bilingual Story, a series by Entre Dos in which we speak to parents, small business owners, authors, and others about their bilingual life. These episodes may be shorter than our regular episodes and a bit more personal. Today’s inaugural episode is different than what you’re accustomed to because it’s entirely in Spanish.
Our first guest is Alicia Sevillano Barja, founder of Maleta Books, a bookshop in Ontario, Canada specialized in Spanish language books. We spoke with Alicia about her bilingual family, the origins of Maleta Books, and her current top three favorite children’s books.
Identity and place can sometimes be abstract notions. They define who we are while also remaining elusive. In the process of integrating two or more cultures we are coming to terms with the things we’re ok with, the things we’re not ok with, and the things that are inevitable. In Generation Zero, Sabreet takes us through her struggles while also keeping her own parent’s experience in perspective. It’s a fascinating dance that many of us can relate to.
Sabreet is a first-generation Indian American of Sikh descent. She’s a full-time social-science researcher and holds an MA in sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and BA in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Baltimore.
To continue the conversation, join us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @entredospodcast.
Raising children with two languages and cultures may sometimes feel like a constant negotiation between the two. In this episode, writer Masha Rumer talked to her about her experience raising English-Russian bilingual children in the U.S.
Masha lives in the Bay Area, where she writes about parenting and the immigrant experience. She is currently writing a book called Parenting with an Accent, which will be published by Beacon Press in 2021.
In the past few weeks, the topic of the 2020-21 school year has reached a fever pitch, with good reason. As we pay close attention to the discussions surrounding PPE, social distancing, hybrid and virtual models, one thing that seems to be missing from most discussions is efforts to ensure continuity in the many dual-language programs across the nation. This is why we spoke with Rosa Campos, one of the organizers of Save Dual Language in Naperville, IL. The campaign is advocating for the dual language program to meet the language and cultural needs of its dual-language students, whether it be from a distance or in person.
A few days after we recorded our interview with Rosa, she sent us an update. The Naperville school district will offer specialized programs, like dual language, for all students. Congratulations to the organizers and most of all to the Naperville student body!
The Save Dual Language in Naperville campaign website will remain live to serve as a resource for other school communities that are experiencing changes in their dual-language program. You can also follow them on Twitter here.
Advocating for our children is an inherent part of parenting. We do it every single day in both big and small ways. We know bilingualism is good and we want it for our children. So how can we advocate to make languages more accessible in our communities? In this episode, we begin exploring how you can go from knowing to doing with our guest, Amanda Seewald, the president-elect of the Joint National Committee for Languages. Think of it as a call to action.
Amanda is the owner of Maracas Language Programs, has raised a bilingual daughter and son, and is an experienced language teacher. She spends much of her time advocating for language programs and policy.
Mentioned in this Episode
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If you listen to this podcast, you probably have a language vision or goal for your family. Our guest, Madalena Xanthopoulou, founded We Live Languages to help multilingual families reach those goals by translating research into actionable steps. Madalena is trilingual and raising trilingual kids. She shared some very useful ideas for families to increase exposure and form communities of support through which they can foster language.
The We Live Languages website has tons of resources for multilingual families; you can take a quiz to determine the language profile of your home and read stories of families that are similar to yours.
Sisters Janike and Alexis Ruginis started their own small book press when they realized there was a lack of Spanish-language books for young children in the U.S. Veoleo published its first book, ¿Dónde está el coquí? in 2018 and it’s currently working on two new books aimed at bilingual little ones.
In this episode, we talked to Alexis about their business and their current efforts to bring enjoyable activities to kids and families who are staying home due to COVID-19.
Moving to another country where you don’t know the language can be challenging. Today’s guest, Elizabeth Quintal, did just that. Two-and-a-half years ago, she moved from Houston, Texas to Madrid, Spain with her husband and son, Grayson. We spoke to her about the transition and how they’re managing the strict lockdown due to COVID-19.
You can find Elizabeth in several places on Instagram. She’s worth a follow for her poetry writing (@elizabethmquintal) and her family adventures and tips on advocacy and raising kind, empathetic kids (@cheekydays). She and her husband, Aaron, run a visual creative agency called The New Antiquarians.
Elizabeth’s poetry will also be featured in Alegria Magazine’s upcoming The Latinx Poetry Project, an anthology of poems by Latinx authors. The book is now available for pre-order through this link.
Having a community of support is such an essential part of raising bilingual children. Depending on the area you live in, finding that community can be hard – but it is possible to create your own.
Johanna Arteaga is the founder of Moco y Baba, a community of Spanish-speaking families in London. She also recently launched Cuéntamelo Books, an online bookstore that carries a curated selection of books from Latin America. Johanna talked to us about how she started Moco y Baba and gave us some tips and advice about how to start a language community in your area.
We talked to Johanna before COVID-19 completely changed the way we interact with each other and, although the group had to forgo in-person meetings temporarily, the community remains steadfast.
In this episode, we spoke to Dr. Jackie Relyea, assistant professor of Literacy Education at North Carolina State University. Her research looked at English reading growth in Spanish-speaking bilinguals.
We’re in the midst of the holiday season and with that, all of the traditions that make them special. In this episode, we wanted to showcase traditions from our listeners, specifically the ones that help keep the heritage language and culture alive.
This will be our final episode of 2019. In the meantime, find us in our Facebook group and on Instagram. We’re excited to return next year. Thank you for your support!
In this episode, we talk to Joanna Rudnick, an Emmy nominated director and producer who is currently working on a documentary exploring the power and reach of children’s picture books: “Story & Pictures By.”
The film follows three contemporary children’s book authors/illustrators – Mac Barnett, Christian Robinson and Yuyi Morales – as they craft new books and interact with kids across the country.
It’s no secret that we are big believers in the power of children’s books, not only to help kids develop language, but as vehicles to shape their world, unleash their imagination, and foster literacy. So when we learned about the film, we wanted to learn more.
If you love this idea as much as we do, consider supporting the film’s Kickstarter campaign. There are only three days left (until Nov. 22) for them to reach their goal of $40,000 so they can continue production.
In one of our earliest episodes, Spanish is like a warm croqueta, we spoke about what we had done in our homes up to that point to foster our daughter’s burgeoning Spanish. Recently, we listened to it again and it struck us how different things feel now, so we decide to record an update on where we think we are on this bilingual path.
This is the kind of episode we wish we could record with all of you in the room! In lieu of this, please join our Facebook Group to share your own descarga with us.
We know that giving bilingual children exposure in the minority language is crucial for their language development, but for some parents speaking their heritage language to their children in an English-dominant society is challenging. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Melissa Baralt, an associate professor of applied psycholinguistics at Florida International University, and the creator of Háblame Bebé, an app aimed at helping Hispanic families foster language development in their children.
Through the app and her research work, Dr. Baralt has focused on empowering parents to pass on their heritage language to their children and to develop a positive socio-linguistic identity.
Have you ever thought of the U.S. as a Spanish-speaking country? Our guest, Emily Hunsberger, a bilingual communications professional, mom of bilingual kids, and host of Tertulia Podcast, does. In today’s episode, she spoke to us about embracing and changing the perception of Spanish spoken in the U.S. – the Spanish that our children are growing up with.
Our perceptions about what kind of bilingual we want our kids to be are rooted in what we feel is acceptable Spanish. But where do these ideas of what is “correct” or “incorrect” come from?
In this episode, we speak to Salvatore Callesano, a sociolinguistic researcher and instructor at The University of Texas at Austin, about the relationship between linguistics and social perceptions and the effect these can have on bilingual children and youth in the US.
Is being bilingual/multilingual an advantage for cognitive development? The answer is not straightforward. You’ve likely heard about the bilingual advantage, this idea that people who have two or more languages develop cognitive advantages, particularly within the realm of executive function which is responsible for things like attention and task-switching. Research to date has yielded conflicting findings and, according to some researchers, the debate over whether there’s a bilingual advantage or not has reached a stalemate.
In this episode, we talked to Dr. Anthony Dick, an associate professor of developmental science and cognitive neuroscience at Florida International University. He published a study that found no evidence of advantages in executive function in 9- and 10-year-old bilingual children.
As mothers of relatively young children, a lot of the conversations we have are about what will become of our bilingual, bicultural children’s future. For this episode, we called on Maritere Bellas, an award-winning author and parenting expert, who raised bilingual and bicultural children in Los Angeles, to share with us her wisdom and experience.
In this episode of What We Love/Lo Que Más Nos Gusta, we talk to Carolina Quiroga-Stultz about her podcast: Tres Cuentos. In Tres Cuentos, which means three stories, Carolina tells stories, myths and legends from Latin America in Spanish and English.
While most of the stories on Tres Cuentos are geared toward older children and adults, Carolina recently launched a summer series with stories geared toward younger children called Niñez Heroica/Children Heroes. Each episode includes a story followed by a few interesting facts about something related to the story.
Public libraries are one of our nation’s most important resources. They support literacy, act as an inclusive gathering space for the community, and provide a plethora of public services. In this episode, we dive into how public libraries have been supporting bilingual families and how they can support you in your community.
A common misconception or myth about bilingualism is that it causes speech language delays. In this episode, Claudia Serrano Johnson, a speech language pathologist (SLP) and founder of Laleo Therapy in Virginia breaks down these misconceptions and shares red flags parents should look out for in their child’s speech language development. You’ll also hear the experience of Zayra Marrero Burgos, an SLP who has a son with developmental delays.
How do you get your kids to engage with you in the target language? We don’t mean utilitarian exchanges about snacks or watching five more minutes of cartoons but actual conversations about interesting topics, concepts or just life, really.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, with our day-to-day lives we find ourselves not interacting as deeply with our loved ones, which is a problem in general, but poses particular issues for parents raising bilingual children. In this What we love/Lo que más nos gusta episode, we share how we get those conversations going.
In Part Two of our conversation with Fabrice Jaumont – a French educator, researcher and the author of the book The Bilingual Revolution – we talk about what drives parents to undertake the efforts needed to establish dual language education programs and what you can do to get started. We also discuss common misconceptions about dual language programs and the importance of having a long-term vision when establishing these initiatives.
If you haven’t listened to Part I, this is a good time to do so!
Dual language education can be a good way to both sustain a cultural heritage and acquire a second language. But if you’ve spent any time looking into these programs, you may have found that they are not easy to get into or they simply don’t exist where you live. In this episode, we speak to Fabrice Jaumont, a French educator, researcher, and author of the book “The Bilingual Revolution.”
Fabrice has helped start multiple dual language education programs in New York, and his book serves both as a testament to what a group of parents can do to bring these programs to their public schools and a guide for those who may want to replicate those efforts elsewhere.