Archive | September 2012

Technology, Education and Time

I like the BBC world service. I really like ‘The Forum’, the panel discussion show that gathers prominent figures, experts and academics to discuss a different topic each week in front of an audience. This morning I heard a great soundbite from panelist Alison Wolf, and it seems appropriate to relate her comment to the education of children in a bicultural environment. Read More…

100 Days of Bilingualism

A new site to add to your list. This is Multicultural Living’s ambitious 100 days of activities to help foster bilingual growth. In their own words:

“Each Monday you will receive a week’s worth of multilingual activities that you can do at home with your children. Not only will it be fun for your entire bilingual family, it will boost your children’s bilingualism into the stratosphere!” (Multicultural Living)

I know, my problem is time too. However, if they are going to provide 100 days of ideas for family based activities, there MUST be something there that you can try. Visit Multicultural Living here.

How well do your kids speak your mother tongue (2)

A while back I started two polls on LinkedIn’s ‘Childhood Bilingualism’ and ‘Expats in Japan’ forums. I asked parents to rate their children’s ability in the foreign parent’s mother tongue. Why? Read More…

Monkey Puzzle

From the writer and illustrator of ‘The Gruffalo’ comes ‘Monkey Puzzle’. “It’s not a puzzle, it’s a book”, my daughter pointed out. “Well…. There’s this monkey, see? And he’s…. puzzled.” You can imagine how that continued. The great thing about the edition I bought (here) is that it comes with a CD recording of the story and an extra Monkey Puzzle song. What’s good about it?

Read More…

Let’s Read 3

No.3 in a series. This time practicing the sight word ‘this’ with use of the word ‘the’ and review of the ‘ai’ sound. Read More…

Motivational 2 Minutes

I did check and yes, he really is a professor at Princeton. See his profile here.

Heartfelt Praise

Day two of using this new print and for the first time since she started reading simple words and sentences, my daughter began predictive reading. Where she used to sound out each letter (l – o – n – g… long) this morning she started to think ahead of the individual sounds (l – ong… long). This is a massive step for her, and I am very proud. It also means that I have set my text at the correct level for her. Perhaps it’s too early to crow too loud, but I believe she has set her own level for future reading goals.

Let’s Read 2

Number two in the series of prints I am making to help my daughter practice her reading within the time-frame we have and at the level we have learned to. We follow the Jolly Phonics series and have worked up to the digraph ‘ai’ (as in train)  in the students book and are now starting the third workbook. Continue reading to download this print. Read More…

Jolly Useful 2

I’m not really sure who this app was designed for. Certainly for English language learners, but not children. There are no games, the ‘play’ is a standard flash card style and there are no cheering pencils  to encourage you do more. This is however a great app for parents who are teaching their kids to read using a system such as Jolly Phonics. It’s a very handy thing to keep for killing time when you are out and about. Read More…

What is ‘Hafu’?

In Japan, the slightly off term for mixed race people is ‘half’. Perhaps more indicative of the penchant the Japanese have for creating simplified terms than it is of the attitudes held by the Japanese as a whole towards mixed race people. That is a can of worms I do not intend to open here. I would like to introduce a page that deals with that conversation in slightly more depth, and wonder if the experience of the people featured on that page translates to children of mixed nationality parents elsewhere. Visit the Hafu homepage here for an interesting look at what it means to be mixed race in Japan.