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Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children Hardcover – 30 Oct 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children
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  • Growing Up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven (Parents' and Teachers' Guides)
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  • Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers (30 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897897501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897897501
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 515,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"This book, whilst entertaining to read, is not just another opinion on the subject. It provides a comprehensive guideline backed up with scientifically proven data, yet leaving plenty of room for individual development."-Marlene Hall-Amsler Translator

"An excellent resource for any family wishing to develop an individual approach to multiple language acquisition.... This book is a valuable source of information and strategies for international school parents and teachers."-Silke Vannatter Coordinator, Learning Support International School of Geneva

"Having myself raised three children in a polyglot situation and being often puzzled by contradicting advice, I would have enjoyed having a book like this much earlier. This book may be a guide through difficult times and answer questions about how, when and what to do about language education.... A real tool to help understand the construction of language and to work out a personalized program adapted to every case."-Beatte Broadhurst Teacher

"Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa has provided parents and caregivers an engaging encounter with the complex, but laudable enterprise of facilitating language acquisition in children. This text is an exciting addition to the library of homes raising children equipped to live in our multicultural world."-Terry A. Osborn Co-director, Foreign Language Education Department of Secondary Education and Youth Services Queens College, City University of New York

"Raising Multilingual Children is a brilliantly written introduction to the possibilities of promoting children's language skills in the family, especially in multilingual settings. This book can be warmly recommended as being one of the rare examples of concrete, well-structured help for parents, teachers, and caregivers who are facing the challenge of encouraging bilingual and multilingual development in real life.' It is particularly valuable and convincing because it blends sound knowledge about the psychological, linguistic, and social dimensions of language learning, reflexive personal experience, with a refreshing and enthusiastic approach to the issues. All this is presented in a witty style, so mouth-watering that hardly any reader will resist trying out the concept."-Cristina Allemann-Ghionda Professor of Education University of Cologne, Germany

From the Author

If you buy just one book on this topic........
This book is about how children learn foreign languages, and when they do so with the best results. But it isn't a personal commentary, nor a stuffy study. While my background is in International Education from Harvard, Raising Multilingual Children was meant to be by a parent and a teacher, for other parents and teachers. In my research I found so many valuable studies which were inaccessible to the average reader because of their technical nature, so I wrote a book that you and I would find entertaining, as well as informative.

Each child is unique. Many books would have you believe there is "the" way to raise a child bilingually/multilingually. What I discovered in my review of hundreds of studies in neurology, linguistics, education and psychology, however, is that they yield just ten specific theory areas. And each of the ten is important to the individual learner. Each person combines the ten key factors of 1.Timing, 2.Aptitude, 3.Motivation, 4.Strategy, 5.Consistency, 6.Opportunity for Use, 7.the Linguistic Relationship between the Languages, 8.Siblings, 9.Gender 10.Hand-Use, (as it reflects cerebral dominance) differently. This book helps you discover your own personal recipe, how to make the most of what ingredients you do have, and how to substitute for those that are lacking.

Bon appétit! And good luck in your foreign language endeavor.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Have you been searching for a comprehensive guide to raising children in a multilingual (or multicultural) environment? Look no further. I am an American mother of two small children, whose father is Italian, and we are living in French-speaking Switzerland. I have seached high and low for a book on how to raise my children with these 3 languages, but they are often written for scientists and doctors, whereas RAISING MULTILINGUAL CHILDREN is written by an educated mother in such a way that I can follow it easily, with interest, and find that at the same time am educating myself!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book for anyone interested in raising his or her children in a multilingual environment. Tracey has identified 10 key factors (Windows of opportunity, Aptitude, Motivation, Strategy, Consistency, Opportunity and support, Relationship between the first and second language, Siblings, Gender and Hand use) which will influence highly the outcome of raising your multilingual child. Although some factors cannot be changed, others like strategy, motivation or consistencies are depending on parents' will and involvement. The book is filled with examples of multilingual families and the problems they had to face. If I had to give an advice to any family facing multilingual environments is: BE NATURAL, a newly born child does not make difference between a monolingual or a multilingual environment, he will naturally adapt to what he is facing and secondly be CONSISTENT with your strategy. Tracey knows what she talks about because she is herself raising her children multilingual. However it must be stated that this book is only about linguistic and how to be successfull in raising multilingual children. It does not approach themes link to the psychology and self-identity of multilingual (and often multicultural) children.
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Format: Hardcover
I can highly recommend this book to anyone bringing up or teaching children in a multilingual environment. The book answers many questions with scientifically validated facts. Whilst leaving room for individual interpretation, the book provides descriptions of the various stages of a child's linguistic development and key indicators of skill level which the parent or teacher should be able to identify. Despite being packed with facts and information, the book is entertaining to read and uses everyday language.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
if you want a hands-on approach towards multilingualism, this is a good book to start with. however, it is not very scientific, you'd have to search for more academic texts if you wanted something like that.
it's entertaining to read and it also suggests certain strategies as well as it describes particular problematic aspects of raising kids bilingually.
one thing i strongly dislike about this book is the kind of "competitive" feeling you get. "the more languages, the better for your kid" but I still believe, that childhood is not supposed to be used as a way of perfecting your child!? and there are other things besides learning language!? like sports, and arts and music and etc etc etc.
but other than that (and keeping this in mind as a parent!!!) it's a great book to get introduced to this topic. might be a bit lengthy at times though, for those who have a basic or even academic/scientific knowledge about this topic already!
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