Monday, September 04, 2006

The advantage of full-immersion language instruction

As a language teacher for young children I am often asked questions like, "What is the best method for teaching a foreign language?" "Does it depend on the learner's age?" "Is the best method one that uses the learners native language or one that relies on full-immersion?" Many adults would agree that they learn much more quickly when teachers use only the language being studied. Use of a person's native language can help in some situations but overall the use of only the language being learned gives the most opportunities for exposure and practice.

So does the same hold true for young children? Most certainly! Young children are still learning their first language and are quite used to not understanding everything that is being said. Hearing someone speak in another language is not as surprising as it is for older children who have not been exposed to foreign languages. Teaching a foreign language to young children in a full immersion setting has several benefits. They learn the language as a whole language system. They are, in effect, learning a second language as if it were their first. They do not need to translate from one language to another to be sure they are understanding what is being said. This gives them a huge advantage in becoming fully bilingual later on.

The most difficult age for full immersion is with older children. First of all, older children tend to be less interested in learning a foreign language. Of course that really depends on whether there are any motivational forces that are encouraging the learning of a foreign language. In the older grades children have become much more comfortable with their level of fluency in their first language and become frustrated when they do not understand everything that is being said. The most important part of using a full-immersion program at this age is to make sure it is clear that the children are not expected to understand everything all of the time.

At any age, a well designed, full-immersion program can have enormous benefits. Students in such programs are surrounded by the language, have more opportunities to speak and hear it and learn not to depend as much on their native language for translation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Teaching to Read in English and Spanish. What's the difference?

A common mistake made by teachers of Spanish-English dual language programs is to teach students to read using the same techniques in both languages. This mistake is not only made by teachers but by textbook companies here in the United States who wish to create a Spanish "version" of their reading programs. First of all, it is most important to realize that learning to read in English is different from learning to read in Spanish. Of course all students need to learn direction, punctuation and how to hold a pencil and form letters. However, learning to decode and spell is quite different in each language. English is a much more phonetically complex language than Spanish. In Spanish each vowel makes only one sound and it never changes. Consonants will sometimes have two different sounds but the difference of when each sound is used is clear and follows consistent rules. Even accents always follow specific rules and there are rare exceptions to the rules.

Unlike English, Spanish does not require years of study in order to learn how to spell or read. Once, a child has learned the basic rules of spelling, they should be able to read or write practically anything without making spelling errors. Sometimes, what could be a fairly simple process is elongated so as to match what peers are doing at the same time in English. Students in fifth grade will still be given spelling tests in Spanish. This really shouldn't be necessary. Once they know the phonetic rules of Spanish they should be able to spell just about anything and rely on the use of spelling rules as a guide. It appears that teachers and text book companies need to model how Reading is taught in Spanish-speaking countries and use that as a guideline for creating programs that address Spanish reader's unique needs.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What do you do when your child only wants to speak English?

Parents raising bilingual children frequently have the same complaint. "I try to speak my native language with my children but they only respond in English." Why does this happen and how can it be avoided? Usually, children stop using their home language because they don't need it or are ashamed of it. In order to keep them using their home language they have to have a reason to speak it and they have to feel comfortable doing so. From my experience, there are several of things parents can do to encourage their children to use their home language.

Only use your native language with your child. Some parents will speak their native language with their children but will switch to English when in public situations or around English speaking friends and family. This is a very tricky situation for parents. You want to speak to your children in their home language, but you don't want to appear rude or insensitive to others. My husband, who is the strictest of the two with regards to language use, will never speak in English to our children and will not respond to them if they do not use Spanish. Needless to say none of the children would even think of speaking to him in English even though they know he is fluent. However, in an effort to not appear disrespectful, he will usually tell others, "I hope you will excuse me but I only speak to my children in Spanish. I want them to be bilingual." This is usually met with exclamations of how great it is to be bilingual. Just because you are with other people doesn't mean you need to change languages. Doing so will show your child that it is inappropriate to use their home language with others or in public and will make them feel uncomfortable to speak it.

The more you respond to your children when they use English, the more English they will use. Make it clear that they need to use their home language when speaking with you. This can be by simply not responding when they speak to you in English. This is difficult but very effective. Of course, this is almost impossible with much older children who usually have set language patterns that are hard to change. Once you have established your relationship with your children in one language it is very difficult to switch later on. Be sure to start young and be consistent

Parents also frequently switch to English when they think their child is not understanding something that is important. This is an interesting phenomenon but should be avoided. If a parent switches to English to discuss more complicated topics or to check for understanding, their child won't develop the ability to discuss complicated topics in their home language. Usually, the child is understanding perfectly well but isn't getting the chance to work through their thought process in that language because English is brought in.

It is possible to keep your child speaking their home language with you but it requires effort. The most important thing is to not give up. Bilingual children have many advantages and you can give your child that gift.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Raising Bilingual Children; Tell us your story.

Raising bilingual or trilingual children takes quite a bit of effort. It doesn't just happen. Parents need to make a conscious effort to provide an environment that is conducive to learning two or three languages well. In our home, Spanish is spoken by both parents and German in school and with grandma and English in school and in the community at large. Ours is just one way of raising bilingual children. Families need to find what works for them. Some families opt to have each parent speak a different language. A friend of mine grew up speaking Russian and German this way with English in school. Others find that it is simply easier to have both parents speak the same language, assuming that both do. The most difficult option tends to be when one parent speaks English and the other a different language. In this scenario, English often tends to win out unless the parent using the non-English language is extremely determined to push their language with the children.

We would love to hear what has worked for you and what hasn't. It is inspiring to hear about others and their experiences. Share your stories about the trials and triumphs you have faced in raising bilingual children. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Two-Way Immersion Programs

Two-way immersion programs might come closest to providing for the needs of both English language learners and English speakers learning a second language. Here are some of the benefits of this type of bilingual program.

-English dominant students and English language learners are mixed together in one class and have the opportunity to learn language skills from each other and form cross-cultural bonds.

-English dominant students are able to become bilingual by being immersed in the second language from 90% of the day in the lower grades to 50% of the day by third or fourth grade. They have the added advantatge of being around peers who speak that language.

-Native speakers of another language have the opportunity to maintain their home language while learning English among other English speaking peers.

-Both groups of students are learning a second language and the language of each is given equal respect and attention.

As more parents of English dominant students learn about the cognitive and social advantages of a bilingual education, we will likely see a growth in these types of programs. It is important that bilingual education be viewed as an important option for both English language learners and English dominant students and not just a method of teaching English to English Language learners.

For more information on Two-Way Immersion programs please see:
Two-Way Immersion Education

Monday, August 07, 2006

What are the best bilingual programs?

Bilingual education means many different things. For some it means the opportunity to learn in two languages and to become fluent and literate in both. This is not the definition of bilingual education as it has been used in the state of California or as seen in the eyes of bilingual education opponents. For the majority of those in favor or against it, bilingual education is a tool with which to teach children English. The use of a child's primary language is a means to transition them slowly into English only classes. Gone is the goal of developing children who are completely fluent in two languages. Unfortunately, this form of bilingual education is really a means of creating students that do not attain full proficiency in their native language and frequently fall behind in English skills.

So what are the alternatives? Transitional Bilingual Education was replaced with English immersion after the passage of Proposition 227 in California. Certainly, spending all day in an English-speaking environment, as long as it is combined with ESL classes, can be a very effective means of learning English for many children. It certainly seems like common sense. Anyone who has tried to learn another language knows that it is much easier when one has many opportunities to use it.

Unfortunately, this sink or swim approach can be traumatic for many children who spend quite some time listening to the teacher speaking in gibberish. Also, those children who receive no instruction in their native language will lose it. They will never have the chance to become completely fluent or literate in their native language. And what a waste that is! Don't forget that learning a second language is a requirement for getting into college. Many children lose their native language and then have to spend years re-learning it when they are older. Also, the benefits of being completely bilingual are immense and it is a real shame to not take advantage of the resources that so many bilingual children could provide this country.

So if Transitional Bilingual education doesn't work and English immersion is a great loss, what is the best balance? What would be the best program for these students to learn both their native language and English and become academically proficient in both?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Problem of Underqualified Bilingual Teachers

One of the greatest problems facing bilingual education in the United States is the shortage of qualified teachers who are completely fluent in the language of instruction. The advanced requirements for becoming a public school teacher include a BA, a teacher preparation program and the completion of a series of tests designed to prove their knowledge and teaching ability. These requirements make it difficult for educators from other countries to become employed as classroom teachers in the United States. Independent schools that offer immersion programs have a much easier time finding outstanding teacher candidates for their immersion and bilingual programs. French schools usually hire their teachers from Canada or from France. Their teachers are true native speakers who were not only raised in the French language but have advanced degrees and pedagogical experience in the language of instruction.

While there are some fluent bilingual teachers in many of the Spanish bilingual programs in the United States, it is much more rare to find a teacher that has an advanced level of Spanish skills. The result is that the quality of the Spanish programs suffers. Few teachers are really qualified to offer students a rich, academic Spanish level that will push their vocabulary and writing skills. This is because the majority of Spanish Immersion teachers are English dominant. They attended an English speaking college or university and their teacher training was in English. Normally, their skills in English far surpass their Spanish language skills. It is clear that our expectations of the language ability of teachers who instruct in Spanish does not parallel our expectations of the ability of teachers who instruct in English. This has created a great handicap to bilingual programs as the majority of students in Spanish bilingual programs do not have a sufficient amount of Spanish-speaking role models.

If bilingual programs in public schools are to be successful, we will need to start considering the possibility to accepting teachers who are accredited in their country of origin. There are many teachers here in the United States who have years of experience and bring their expertise but are unable to teach due to the restrictions placed on teachers trained in other countries. Many states even have restrictions on teachers trained in other states. A teacher who instructs children in a language other than English should not have to prove advanced English language skills. This would be similar to an English teacher in Japan being expected to speak fluent Japanese. Conversational Japanese would be sufficient so as to be able to understand and communicate with students. To make bilingual programs the best they can be we will need to rework teacher requirements to ensure that students are learning from well trained teachers with the highest level of ability possible in the language of instruction.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fears of Immersion Programs

A friend recently told me that she was warned by a child development expert about the dangers of puting her English-speaking son in a Spanish-immersion program. According to this "expert" her son would be spending time learning another language and would not be learning about important concepts like, "friendship" or "sharing". I often hear comments like this about immersion programs from parents. "I want my children to speak another language but I also want them to speak English." "Expecting children to learn in another language is too much for them. Its hard enough for them to learn English." These comments, while frustrating, are understandable since they come from a misunderstanding of the way children develop language. However, to hear something like this coming from a trained, child-development expert is really baffling.

How hard is it understand that children in immersion programs are learning everything that children in English-only programs are learning. They are just doing it in a different language. A child in an immersion program at the preschool level will typically reach an age-appropriate fluency in the language of instruction within one year. Understanding the language takes just a couple of months. And while students in immersion programs might appear to be a bit behind their monolingual peers in English language development in the early years, national test scores continue to show them leveling off by third grade and far surpassing their monolingual peers by eighth grade. Evidently, being immersed in a language other than English does not affect their ability to reach above average English skills in speaking, reading comprehension, vocabulary or writing. And to top it all off, they also now speak two languages.

For more information on the effectiveness of immersion programs, please read: What Parents Want to Know about Foreign Language Immersion Programs

Thursday, August 03, 2006

James Crawford speaks out against the "National English" amendment

On May 18, 2006, the Senate approved 63-34 an amendment by Sen. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act that would make English the "national language" of the United States. Unfortunately, it was approved without a hearing on the possible ramifications of such an amendment. On July 26, James Crawford, the Director of the Institute for language and Education Policy, testified before the House Subcommittee on Education Reform in an effort to bring to light some of the possible outcomes of such a radical amendment. Crawford's testimony can be seen below.

What's next? The House sub-committee on Education Reform will now be considering HR 997, the English Language Unity Act.

Crawford's Testimony before the House Subcommittee on Education Reform

Monday, July 31, 2006

Foreign Language Education in the Global World

Did you know that in all European countries, at least one foreign language is compulsory for all elementary students? It is quite normal for European citizens to speak at least three languages. While In the United States, approximately one fourth of all elementary schools offer a foreign language program and most US citizens can only speak one language. It is unfortunate that not all schools in the United States require students to learn a foreign language in elementary school.

The ability to speak a foreign language is a tremendous asset that the United States needs to cultivate. More businesses than ever are working in the international arena and are now requiring their employees to speak a foreign language. Speaking a foreign language might possibly be about as useful as getting a college degree when it comes to entering the job force. As the job market becomes more and more competitive, those with foreign language skills have the upper edge. If the United States is to keep a competitive edge in the international business world, we are going to have to succeed in educating more of our citizens to communicate in other languages.

Learning a foreign language isn't just useful abroad. The ability to speak a foreign language is also incredibly useful here in the United States. Whether in public service, sales or tourism, many employers are looking for employees with foreign langauge skills. Given this reality it is really quite surprising that more parents aren't demanding foreign language education in schools.

What We Can Learn From Foreign Language Teaching In Other Countries

Friday, July 28, 2006

The joys of multilingual children

While on a recent trip to México, we happened to stay at a hotel with many German, Swiss, French and even Mexican tourists. I have to say it was such a pleasure to see my children being able to make friends with children from all of those countries because of their language skills. One morning they would be splashing in the pool in German and in the afternoon they would be running around using Spanish. I don't believe there has been a single other moment that has more clearly illustrated the value of their multilingual upbringing. I started to think, is there possibly a disadvantage to being bilingual? I have not yet thought of one.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tips for raising bilingual children.

For those parents who are struggling to keep their children speaking their native language, here are some things that have helped us raise our trilingual children. Please add your tips as well.

1) Surround your child with your home language. If you don't have friends and family members who speak the language nearby, be sure to provide books, games, videos and posters that keep your child hearing and seeing the usefulness and importance of their home language.

2) This may seem controversial but it works! Shelter your child from English. Despite not using English at home and sending our children to immersion programs in a third language, they have scored amazingly high in English and have never been behind. How can this be? Their language skills in the other languages not only transfer over into English but they have the added advantage of having expanded their ability to learn languages, vocabulary and grammatical structures by becoming bilingual to begin with. The stronger their home language, the stronger their English will be as well. Also children in the United States soak up English like a sponge. They absorb it quicker than you can imagine. Despite not speaking to any of our children in English, all of them spoke fluent English before starting school. English is all around us and they hear it everywhere.

3) Praise your child for using their home language. Remind them frequently how great it is that they speak it and how special it is to be bilingual. Instill pride in them for their ability to use it.

4) Read to them, A LOT, in their native language. This will help them to expand their vocabulary beyond just everyday words. Increase the level of difficulty of the texts as they get older. Don't force them to read themselves. This should be a fun time to spend together.

5) Don't wait until later. In raising bilingual children, you really only have a couple of years before they are out in the English dominant world. Take advantage of those early years to instill as much of your home language in them as possible. Then, when they are in school, it will just be an issue of maintaining it and increasing their vocabulary. Starting a language from scratch after years of speaking in English will be much more difficult. They will see the use of any other language with you as unnatural.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Raising bilingual children isn't easy!

Anyone who has worked to raise their children to be bilingual or even trilingual in the United States knows it isn't easy. One would think it shouldn't be so difficult. Yet, even for those trying to raise their children to speak Spanish, in a country where Spanish is so widely spoken, will find themselves in an uphill battle. I could not even count the number of times parents have told me that they only speak to their children in their native language but that their children refuse to use the language and only respond in English. This is contrary to the claims of the English Only movement that immigrants do not learn English and stick together in language minority enclaves. While many immigrants continue to use their native language, the children of immigrants tend to grow up with very limited ability in their mother tongue unless there is a well-focused effort to keep children using their home language.

Just like learning to share or use the toilet, parents must be diligent in helping their children to become fully proficient in their native language. Ensuring that your children use the home language is challenging and takes extra work on the part of the parents. However, the benefits are endless. My personal experience comes from the efforts of my husband and I to raise our three trilingual children. Our eldest is now learning a fourth language in high school. Raising children to speak so many languages isn't magic. There are many ways parents can support their bilingual children. I would love to hear from you about your experiences in raising bilingual or trilingual children. What works? How can we help other parents with this challenging task? Your experiences and insight can offer much needed help and inspiration to other parents working towards the same goal.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is it enough to speak a language to teach a language?

While attending an IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) conference several months ago, the presenter reminded the crowd of elementary school teachers and administrators that the IBO Primary Years program has a language requirement that begins in the early elementary grades. Apparently several administrators were concerned as to where the money for such a program would come from and proceeded to offer a tip for other schools in dealing with this requirement. The suggested idea was to bring in parents who spoke the language the school wished to offer and have them teach it. They felt this would offer a supportive boost for the language minority parents and the students. The presenter felt this would be a great solution to the situation.
I was actually stunned. I could not imagine that they would consider parents to teach language classes to the children. Would they do that with the science or math program? How about we just have some parents come in and teach math to the students, then we won't have to pay a teacher. Just speaking the language is not enough. One needs to understand how language is developed and appropriate methods of teaching for various age levels. Teaching a language isn't an easy thing. It is much more challenging to handle classroom management when you are trying to speak to children in a language they don't understand.
Also, instead of boosting student's and parent's moral about the representation of their native language, they might actually discover that the administration did not care enough about their native language for it to merit a certified, experienced teacher. This sort of mentality is what continues to undermine the importance of foreign language programs in schools. Hopefully with new policies and foreign language teaching standards in place we can begin to create a change in all schools.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Foreign Language Education for All Children

How about a new educational policy? All children in the United States should begin learning a foreign language by age eight. Is this a radical proposal? Probably not when one considers that most other industrialized nations have cumpulsory foreign language requirements starting in elementary school. Many other countries even require two foreign languages be studied before attended a university. So, should we try to get this on the ballot? Ok. so maybe it wouldn't pass, especially given the amount of controversy that currently exists regarding bilingual education. But imagine the impact even trying to do so would have. We may just plant a little seed. Bilingual education should not just be for language minority students, it should be for ALL students. Every child in the United States should be expected to learn a foreign language. Lets give all our children the cognitive and social benefits of becoming bilingual. And for the all those nay-sayers, perhaps if we explain it will boost their child's SAT scores they just might vote in favor!

For more information see the following article presented by CAL: What We Can Learn From Foreign Language Teaching In Other Countries

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hope for the future of language policy

In a time when so many people are being misled by the false accusations of the English Only movement, bilingual programs are being dismantled and more legislation regarding the exclusive use of English is pending, it is refreshing to learn that the new Institute for Language and Education Policy will soon become an active presence in this country. Language policy based on sound research and not ideology is what is needed in order to create educational programs and policies that will best serve our children.

The Institute for Language and Education Policy is "dedicated to promoting research-based policies in serving English-Language and heritage-language learners". Guiding this effort is a group of leading experts in the field of language policy and language learning, including; Stephen Krashen, Jim Cummins, Lily Wong Fillmore and James Crawford. To learn more about this organization and to become a founding donor please visit. It is inspiring to see action being taken and we hope you will support this effort.

Here is a PDF of the announcement of the Institute for Language and Education Policy

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Can language unify our country?

One of the greatest challenges to implementing more bilingual programs is the vast amount of opposition such programs face. The majority of this opposition comes from English Only advocates who fear that learning other languages will somehow create a nation of people who can't, or won't speak English. The basic premise to the English Only movement is that our country will only be completely united if we all speak one language. If that were true, how then would one explain other bilingual and multilingual countries, such as Switzerland, that have lived peacefully for decades with speakers of a variety of different languages.

On the other hand, if having a common language really had the power to prevent internal strife then certainly the civil war would never have happened, Ireland would have peace and civil wars in other monolingual countries would be unknown. It is apparent that being a monolingual country really has nothing to do with creating a united country. What seems to carry far more weight is the ability of its citizens to respect each other despite the language they speak or the religion they practice. In fact, if we really wanted to create a united country, learning about each other's cultures and languages would likely go much farther than attempting to erradicate them. Bilingual education in all schools would be a step closer to unifying our country and all the people that live in it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Bilingual Talk would like to wish you all a very happy 4th of July. Perhaps this is the perfect time to remember all of the immigrants who have made this country what it is today. From the first Native Americans who crossed the Bering Strait to the pilgrims, to those who just crossed the border yesterday, thank you for making this country what it is today. In the words of the statue of liberty,

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Failure of Transitional Bilingual Programs

One of the biggest failures of bilingual education is that it is touted as merely a method of teaching English to language minority students. Unfortunately, the truth is that the majority of bilingual programs in California do exactly that. Their goal is to transition language minority students into English only classrooms. Such transitional bilingual classrooms use Spanish exclusively for the majority of the school day with only one half to one hour of English language instruction in the early years. They eventually transfer students into English only classrooms by third or fourth grade. While the structure of such programs is not at fault the goal of transitioning students into English only classrooms prevents students from attaining true bilingualism and reaping all of the advantages that come with it.

The first major problem with transitional bilingual programs is that they do not allow students to attain full literacy in their native language. To be fully bilingual and functional in both languages one must become fully literate. We would certainly not consider an English-speaking student to be fully literate by third or fourth grade. However, that is precisely when students in such programs stop receiving formal language arts instruction in their native language. Extensive amounts of research have proven that the benefits of being bilingual are long term and become most pronounced, especially on test scores, in higher grades. Students who have had the opportunity to become completely bilingual and biliterate consistently outperform their monolingual peers on standardized tests. Transitional bilingual programs do not allow students to gain such benefits as they stop instruction in their native language at such an early age.

Another major problem with transitional bilingual programs is that they isolate language minority students. Language minority students are placed in classes with other students who speak their same language and who are also considered limited English proficient. Such students do not have the opportunity to interact with their English-speaking peers nor do they have access to the cross-cultural experiences that are vital for learning to live in a multicultural society. Transitional bilingual programs basically segregate non-English speaking students from English-speaking students and thus deny students access to the benefits of being among students that might come from other ethnic and language backgrounds.

Lastly, transitional bilingual programs are designed only for language minority students and are not usually open to families of other language backgrounds. This prohibits other families from becoming active participants and supporters of bilingual programs. Such programs prevent more students from being able to receive the cognitive and social benefits of becoming bilingual and create an environment in which bilingual education is seen as remedial education. Students in such programs are seen as having the unfortunate fate of not being able to speak English instead of being praised and admired for the amazing skills they have acquired in developing two languages at the same time.

In conclusion, transitional bilingual programs have given a bad name to bilingual education. This is also perhaps one of the causes of the passage of proposition 227 in California which dismantled the majority of the state's bilingual programs. Hopefully, such programs will phase out and be replaced with dual-immersion bilingual programs which are more inclusive and aim to teach the minority language to students of a variety of language backgrounds.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Welcome to Bilingual Talk

Bilingual Talk is a place for teachers, students, parents and researches to work together to confront some of the greatest challenges facing bilingual education and bilingual living in the United States and beyond. Bilingual Talk values bilingualism and diversity. It is clear that all children deserve the opportunity to learn to speak more than one language. The advantages to being bilingual are extensive. Research has shown that bilingual students benefit from enhanced cognitive brain functions, cognitive flexibility, problem solving skills, academic achievement, and creativity. In addition, bilingual children also gain increased awareness of cross-cultural issues, a better understanding of their native language and greater job opportunities.

Research has also shown that true bilingualism is developed in childhood before the onset of adolescence when our language learning capacity begins to slow down. Children's brains are wired for learning languages and they can recall words after hearing them just a few times. Children are less inhibited from trying out new words and are less frustrated when they hear words they don't understand. The majority of schools in the United States do not begin to offer a second language until Middle School. This is precisely when the task of learning a new language has already become more difficult. On the other hand, young children have been shown to learn three, four and even five languages simultaneously. They are basically little language learning machines.

Given the extensive advantages of being bilingual and what we know about the optimal time to become so, why are there so few bilingual programs and bilingual schools in the United States? Why aren't more parents demanding that their children be given the opportunity to benefit from a bilingual education? What is really stopping us from offering this tremendous advantage to more children in our country?

Bilingual Talk hopes that you will join us in our search to find the answers to these and other questions. We hope this site will be a place to discuss the most important issues on bilingualism; education, politics, research and living. We invite you to post your concerns and questions and do hereby open this forum for all.