Browsing CategoryBilingual Summer

I know it’s not surprising, since I just wrote a book about it, but I think everyone should raise their kids with two languages. It helps kids academically, it makes them more conscious of other cultures and improves social skills, it increases empathy and when they are all old and wrinkly it protects their brain from dementia for years. Some people say it’s like doing crosswords. No. It’s like getting a bionic crossword puzzle brain boost. It’s massive. And at their tender age it’s easier to learn without studying. Plus and here’s the best part that every one of these articles brushes…

Note: if you haven’t signed up for this challenge, it’s not too late. We’re at the midway point. It’s hot out. Too hot. We’ve gotten pretty far at Duolingo but more importantly some things are starting to click. Here’s what I know: 1. It’s really hard to measure your own progress until you reach a tipping point. It feels like you’re not learning that much, then something happens — you dream in Spanish or you effortless translate something in French or whatever — and you’re hit with the realization of, “Oh wow, I am making progress!” 2. The beginning is…

First, yesterday, I wrote about something I think is really brilliant, but it’s hard to get people to take the little extra step and get involved. So go read yesterday’s post. Make a $5 contribution, leave a comment on that post and I will match every $5 donation from now until the end of the campaign. See, now you have an incentive. Go. Then come back, because it’s still the Bilingual Summer, where I’m trying to learn Spanish, a bunch of folks have joined me either on DuoLingo (it’s totally free) or in their own studies to focus on doing…

I’ve been loving Duolingo (I took a little break over the weekend and everyone smoked me on the leader board  but I fought back to 10th place today!) — but the other big piece for our language studies is using it in our daily lives. We’ve been doing this for over a year now, living in Mandarin in Beijing, Arabic in Beirut, and now Spanish in Mexico. Here are the ways that we stretch ourselves into living with more immersion, even when it’s uncomfortable or just plain easier to switch to English. 1. Start the day with reading. I think there’s…

Motivation. It’s strange how it works. I mentioned on Facebook that I was loving Duolingo for Spanish and offered to follow anyone who wanted to join me on that site. A few people took me up on it. The next morning TWO of my readers had beat me on points when they had just started out at zero. So I did what anyone would do — I crammed in order to beat them! Of course! (haha, I’m so competitive.) My score inched up, but so did theirs, they were keeping just ahead of me. So frustrating! Yet so motivating! That’s…