Archive | July 2012

The importance of feedback

Dear visitors, a request for feedback. Comments, if you can. Since I started writing this blog I have wondered each time I publish a post whether the content will be either interesting or helpful to the (551 at time of writing) visitors, and could it be so to the hundreds of thousands of people who share the same goal as mine: raising a child to speak two (or more) languages. As I mention in the About section, I hope to share ideas that have worked for me and learn from those who have more experience. If you have any thoughts on the subject and would like to give your penny’s worth, please don’t hesitate to do so. Thanks in advance. Nick

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Power of The Pen

Two postcards arrived recently from abroad. One from my mother and one from a friend of this blog Chris Drew, based in France. Chris and I agreed at his suggestion to start sending the occasional postcard to each other. They are a useful talking point with your child, opening up conversations about location and offering an opportunity to read genuine communicative language. Mine has not progressed enough to write, or to read the beautifully written cards, but Chris had his daughters write the one he sent. Here are some extracts from some of the mails Chris sent me. They are interesting, informative and motivational. Read More…

Fan-tastic

School out for summer? If you find yourself with a little more free time with the sprog than usual, and if you happen to live in a country which (like Japan) uses handheld fans as freebies for advertising, then strip those fans to the skeleton, remove the unwanted ad, and have your child make a nicer one! Read More…

Super Seconds

After food shopping today and still with a cascade of good advice from my new friend washing around in my head, we took a trip to Nagoya’s only second-hand foreign book shop. Mondo Books was started to deal with a surplus of inherited second-hand books. They moved from being a shelf to a culture space, and now offer not only a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books for adults, but also kids books and quite a few texts for young readers. Today’s find was the first 4 in the Ladybird Key Words C series. Read More…

Jolly Good

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Lucky me! You too! A new friend with a great deal of experience in language learning himself mailed me on the subject of teaching children to read at home and a variety of related topics. More on those another time. First I would like to introduce a recommendation of his: Jolly Learning.
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How well do your kids speak your mother tongue?

Just over a month ago I decided to use my membership of two groups on LinkedIn to do a little reasearch about the levels of children’s language skills. Of the two groups I polled, Expats in Japan & Childhood bilingualism, it was the Expats group that provided the most responses and a lively discussion about raising kids bilingually. Here are some of the points raised and comments made in that discussion. Read More…

What’s the time?

After a cold bath (summer in Japan) and with my daughter happily engrossed in a game on Starfall, I have 5 minutes to introduce another I-phone app for those few minutes every now and again where you just have to wait for something. It’s the lite version, so it’s free, and as long as they know the numbers 1 to 12 they can jump right in. Read More…