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on 15 May 2003
This book confirms and repeats, over and over again, that bilingualism is a good thing, that there are no disadvantages to bilingualism, and that young children are, for the most part, good at learning languages. This should allay any unfounded fears parents may have that bilingualism might not be a good idea. The poor side of the book is that it can essentially be condensed into the above review. There is little or no practical advice on how parents can best bring up a baby to be bilingual short of those methods obvious to most people (e.g. "talk to your child"). The second half of the book covers different approaches in different schools. The message is good (if obvious), the content shallow.
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on 22 January 2002
Colin Baker's book is a practical guide for achieving bilingualism in children. Its structure makes it very easily accessible to both parents and teachers alike, in that each section addresses a question about a particular aspect of bilingualism. It is split into two main sections, the first one dealing with issues in the home and the second one with issues in the school environment. Some sections also contain references for those interested in delving a bit deeper into the subject. There is a helpful glossary at the back of the book explaining the linguistic terminology used throughout the book. All in all, it's an excellent guide for people interested in bilingual issues.
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on 6 April 2013
When I raised my own children in a dual-language environment I had to battle prejudice all the way. The majority language speakers (German) thought I was confusing my children by speaking a minority language (English) with them on a daily basis. I finally gave up and ended up speaking my own second language (German) with my own children, which felt unnatural to me.
Now I have a grandchild who spends lots of time with me and I decided to speak English with him from the start. I found this book very encouraging. It contains insight and wisdom and lots of suggestions.
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on 16 August 2011
This is a good reference book for people who are approaching family bilingualism for the first time and need thinking material. The book provides answers to many questions one may have on what bilingualism is, how to support it, advantages and disadvantages of it, education, etc. The manual structure is very user friendly as it organised in a crossed reference question-answer way, so it is easy to jump from topic to topic according to each one's interests.
However, do not expect a step-by-step guide on how to raise bilingual children, which I think does not exist as each family is unique. This is more a useful introduction to the topic.
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on 11 August 2013
Save yourself time reading this book and just read the question and answer above again.

This book is split into 5 sections which all approach the same question above, "will teaching my child to be bilingual have a negative affect on him some how?" and the answer given over and over again in different, long-winded ways is "No, bilingualism is actually beneficial to a child's development".

There are no techniques for actually teaching your child or dealing with developmental problems which may arise, no inspiring ways to get you child involved in language learning. No yardsticks by which to measure your child's development.

Complete waste of time and and money.
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on 28 July 2013
gave me plenty of useful info on bilingualism / multilingualism and gave me confidence in what to do with my little one ( as I live in the UK and english is not my first language)
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on 18 April 2003
This book really met our family's needs - we are a bilingual family, in the exact same situation as Colin Baker and his family - which ment that the case studies were of real practical help. It is really useful to use as an arguing tool for anybody who comes up against prejudice against bringing one's children bilingual.
It's also very easy to read, I feel I'll be referring to this one again!
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