Saturday, January 29, 2011

buy the book

Attention bilingual and multilingual families world-wide: Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, teacher of English as a foreign language, independent researcher and writer on bilingualism and multilingualism and mother to three bilingual children has just published her second book.

Bilingual Siblings: Language Use in Families

Some time ago Suzanne asked me and many other parents of bilingual or multilingual siblings if we'd be prepared to provide information on language use within our families. I said yes, of course, so you'll see several (names changed slightly to protect the innocent) comments from me about our experiences raising two bilingual boys.

I must admit I have not yet bought the book, but will do so in the next couple of days and tell you what I think.

Here's a little peek at the contents for now.

Chapter 1 – What do we know about Bilingual Families?
Chapter 2 – The Growing and Evolving Family
Chapter 3 – The Sibling Relationship
Chapter 4 – Age Difference, Family Size & Language Orders
Chapter 5 – Gender & Language
Chapter 6 – Birth Order: A Child’s Position in the Family
Chapter 7 – Individual Differences: Same Languages, Different Language Histories
Chapter 8 – Bilingualism and Twins, Adoption, Single parents & Step-families
Chapter 9 – Five Themes on Family Language Use

Bilingual Siblings: Language Use in Families is available directly from the Multilingual Matters website with a 20% discount and through and

Suzanne also has a blog about her family's adventures with a couple of book reviews - Notes from the OPOL Family

Another site I've been meaning to mention for ages is Multilingual Living. The site's founder, Corey Heller, lives in Seattle with her husband and three children and has put a tremendous effort into providing learning resources and advice for families dealing with two or more languages. Read more about Corey and her crew here.

You might be wondering how my boys are getting along. Well, at 14 and 17 they still speak English-only to their mum so I guess we must be doing something right!

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At January 30, 2011 2:10 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your children are so fortunate to be bi-lingual! You know the joke...What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who only speaks one? An American! That would be me.

At January 30, 2011 5:30 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Sounds like a great read! And it is great that your boys are bilingual! True to amiee's comment...

At January 30, 2011 10:55 p.m., Blogger Lost in Translation said...

Do you know any good books about raising bilingual kids the first time around? No siblings here lol

At January 31, 2011 1:03 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

LOL at Aimee's comment. I have a very strong feeling about the Ugly American who thinks it's okay to speak only one language because "everyone speaks English!" No wonder some people can't stand us! Your boys ARE lucky, of course. I just wish I had started learning Dutch at their age. HA!

At February 01, 2011 2:27 p.m., Anonymous Jennifer said...

Looks interesting, thanks for the heads up. I'll have to wish list that. What's really fascinating to me now that my youngest at 3+ is a total chatter box is how the boys decide what language to play in when there are no adults involved. Sometimes they use Swiss, sometimes English, and I can't figure out their underlying decision rules for the life of me.

Lost in Translation - The Bi-Lingual Family is pretty good.

At February 07, 2011 6:02 a.m., Blogger SonjaM said...

I also grew up bilingual. My dad was born in Schleswig Holstein and only spoke 'Platt', the Northern dialect, while my mom was talking in 'Hochdeutsch' to us. On the plus side... the flat German dialect has quite a few words similar to English, which helped in the learning process.
Your boys are so fortunate. Good for them!
Cheers from the We(s)t Coast


At February 26, 2011 9:29 a.m., Blogger Betsy said...

Hi! I just did a meme and tagged you. Please don't feel obligated to play along, you just popped into my head and I figured I'd include you too.

Hope you're feeling good and that everything is going well! <3

At February 27, 2011 12:56 a.m., Blogger Betty said...

You're a fabulous mom. I don't know why other people don't teach their kids their native language.


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