Welcome to the BML Corner...

...all about multilingual learning.

This site will be used to maintain a curated collection of resources about raising and educating bilingual/multilingual world citizens. Explore the collection by clicking on the links to the left. I will also use the home page as a blog. Please feel free to contact me with suggestions for additional resources (or tech tips as I learn to use Google Sites).


About me

Like many Cedar families, I have two homes: Trinidad & Tobago and the BVI. I have been learning, using and teaching language and languages for many years. Those of us who grow up in the Caribbean are usually fluent in whatever "dialect" or Creole is commonly used in our island(s), as well as the standard language of government and school. I have studied Spanish, French and Portuguese, as well as some courses in Linguistics. I have also dipped into other languages and am enjoying exposure to even more through my work at Cedar. I  love living in the Caribbean and in the BVI in particular. I also love watching films, reading, travelling, connecting with friends and family and making new friends.  I think communication is a very important skill. Listening to others with open minds, sharing ideas, making our voices heard - this is how we can make our world a better place for all. I am committed to working with our bilingual and multilingual students, their parents and their teachers to make sure they develop strong communication skills and can leverage all of their languages in their learning journeys.Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or suggestions!

Interesting article about languages 

It has been a busy year, and I have not kept up with this blog, but here's an article that tickled me recently. It makes some important points about the value we place on different languages. I hope you enjoy it, too. 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/apr/24/language-speak-big-slovene-english-german

Marian



Back to school, September 2023 

Welcome to all returning and new bilingual/multilingual Cedar families. Here's to another year of multilingual learning. I look forward to chatting with you and working together to help your children achieve their potential. 

Marian



21st June 2023 - LanguageBird webinar

Learn about opportunities to expand your or your child's exposure to and study of an additional language (or more!) at the latest LanguageBird webinars: 

LanguageBird
Invites You to Attend Our
Virtual Informational Session

 

Don't Miss Out on Our Webinar Today!

Would you like to get ahead in your language studies? Are you in need of any world language Tutoring & Test Prep? Would you like to free up time in your schedule for additional activities or classes? Join us today or at an upcoming Virtual Informational Session to learn more about our accredited, LIVE, one-to-one language courses taught by native-level speakers online via video chat. We schedule your classes when it works best for YOU! 

 

We offer 15 languages and cultures to choose from! Our language options include American Sign Language, Arabic, ESL, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. 

 

In this session, you will have the opportunity to meet members from admissions to answer your questions and hear what LanguageBird can offer your language learner this year! Parents, students, counselors, and partners are all welcome! Secure your spot by selecting a session and clicking the link below. 

 

Join Us!

Wednesday, June 21, 2:30 pm PST / 5:30 pm EST

Tuesday, June 27, 1:00 pm PST / 4:00 pm EST

RSVP 

Secure your spot by selecting a session and clicking the link above. 


21st February 2023 - UNESCO International Mother Language Day

In observance of the above, here's a link to a blog published by LanguageBird with lots of short posts about various languages: https://www.languagebird.com/blog/.

January 2023 - Resolving to support home languages?

Happy 2023 to all. I am looking for ways to support our students' home languages. Here are a couple of opportunities for you to consider:

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch!

Nov./Dec. 2022 - Multilingualism @ Qatar 2022

Even if you are not a football (aka soccer) fan, I do hope you are following the coverage of the World Cup final. While this tournament has been surrounded by much controversy, there are good things happening, too. The World Cup Daily show available on the FIFA website showcases - along with match highlights - lots of joyful fans, sharing their culture and languages with others. The focus is on fun and celebration of other teams' achievements even when one's own national team loses (or gets booted out!). This show also highlights social media posts from fans in many languages. The website is available in several languages, too, and highlights are even available with sign language commentary. 

Of course, international sports competitions are also always a natural introduction to the history, culture and politics of those who share the planet with us, and can provide our children with valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of our era. 

And one more shameless plug for the NPR/Futuro Studios podcast The Last Cup/La última copa, binge-worthy listening in both Spanish and English. It examines migration experiences in the context of Lionel Messi's football career with the selección nacional de Argentina.

4th September, 2022 - Bonne rentrée!

Do you sometimes find that it is easier to express a particular idea in one language than another? I prefer French for expressions such as "Bonne rentrée" (Welcome back to school"), "Bon courage" (more than the usual translation of "Good luck", this implies to me a wish for strength in the face of a challenge) And what about the ever popular "Bon appétit"! 

But I digress. On to the matter at hand: bilingual and multilingual learning at Cedar. I invite you to explore the resources collected on this website and welcome any feedback you may have. Last year, it proved most convenient for some parents if I sent a quick email if/when I posted new resources or updates. Do let me know your preference.    

29th June - Happy Holidays!

As we begin the well-earned summer break, may I make a small request? Please take advantage of every opportunity to support your children's language development both in their home languages and in English. On your travels, or even at home, read, read, read: stories, comics, maps, signposts, flyers, menus, etc. Make time for conversations and games with family members and friends who speak the home language. Chat with your children about all their experiences, thoughts and ideas - in any language! And most of all, have a wonderful rest and lots of fun!

1st June

It has been a while since I posted anything new! I do hope you all saw the New Year's email with the link to the video we made at school celebrating our multilingualism. Here's a link to the video, posted on the school Facebook page. 

Recently, I came across this review of Jhumpa Lahiri's Translating Myself and Others. Those of you who are multilingual yourselves or whose partners are multilingual might find the review or her book of essays an interesting read.

4th December

Check your email to learn how we are planning to mark this at school next week. Please join with us! 

  

24th October, 2021

Interesting blog post here on the "facts and fictions" surrounding early bilingualism: https://multilingualparenting.com/early-bilingual-language-development-facts-and-fictions-guest-post/.

21st October, 2021

I hope all of our bi-/multilingual families have had a fun, relaxing mid-term break, using all of their languages! I'd like to share an intriguing podcast I came across today, produced by a group of three PhD students at the University of Edinburgh. Their podcast goes by the quirky name Much Language Such Talk: https://mlstpodcast.com/. (They also all volunteer at Bilingualism Matters, a research centre at the University.) I will add both of these links under the "experts" tab. Enjoy exploring. 

1st September, 2021 

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! 

Here's a reminder from Mary Pat O'Malley, posting in the Facebook group Becoming Bilingual: 

It's that time of month again! Elisavet Arkolaki and a wide range of authors are very kindly sharing free ebooks in many different languages - you can get them today by clicking this link! http://maltamum.com/free-childrens-ebooks-in-many.../... 

And, in this article, a trilingual Speech & Language Pathologist busts some of the myths and provides some encouragement for those of us working hard to maintain and develop our children's home and/or heritage languages. 

3rd May, 2021 

This post is too late for this month, but you might find some material in the coming five months at this site: http://maltamum.com/free-childrens-ebooks-in-many-languages/.

10th April, 2021 

I have recently come across an Irish site, TalkNua, which focuses on speech and language development of multilingual children. They also have a private Facebook group, Becoming Bilingual.

In addition, do consider this webinar coming up in June on The home learning environment - multilingualism and child wellbeing. It will focus on one aspect of the home learning environment, namely how the knowledge of multiple languages can affect well-being. It is being jointly hosted by the UK's National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum, NALDIC, and the Chartered College of Teaching.

30th March, 2021 - #multilingualisnormal

The hashtag above will not be new to you if you have been following Cate Hamilton (of Babel Babies, linked on the resources page of this site) on her blog, or her Language Revolution podcast.  The International Day of Multilingualism is a fairly recently established observance, arising from a Twitter discussion. The 27th March was chosen as the date because "27th March 196 BC is the date mentioned on the famously multilingual Rosetta Stone". Here is an excerpt from https://internationaldayofmultilingualism.wordpress.com/about/ which includes a few interesting links: 

The date 27th March was suggested by Thomas Bak, Reader in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh (find out more about him on the Healthy Linguistic Diet website), and readily taken up by Ute Limacher, owner of Ute’s International Lounge and Dr. Philology, and Cate Hamilton, languages education entrepreneur, co-founder of Babel Babies, and our team graphic designer.

Please note that I now have in my possession the Eowyn Crisfield book highlighted in a previous blog post: Bilingual Families - A Practical Language Planning Guide. Please reach out if you would like to borrow it! 


1st March, 2021 - Still Celebrating Multilingualism

As we honour founding father of educational vision, H. Lavity Stoutt, today, here is a reminder about a great way to keep your home language and culture alive - radio from home! Download the Radio Garden app from whichever app store you use.  

Radio Garden allows you to listen to thousands of live radio stations world wide by rotating the globe.

Every green dot represents a city or town. Tap on it to tune into the radio stations broadcasting from that city.

By adding new radio stations every day and updating ones that no longer work, we hope to give you a smooth international radio listening experience.

24th February, 2021 - Celebrating Multilingualism

Please accept my apologies for my belated marking of International Mother Language Day, observed each year on 21st February.  I am actively celebrating by attending The Educational Collaborative of International Schools' (ECIS) virtual conference on Multilingual Learning in International Education (MLIE) this week, along with a couple of other webinars. I am building my understanding of the value of maintaining children's full language repertoires and learning about ways in which to tap into the whole range of their linguistic ability as they proceed along their educational journey.

P.S. Don't forget this afternoon's chat with the authors of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. See my previous post for details. 

22nd February, 2021

Here is another book chat/webinar from Multilingual Matters:

Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright, authors of 'Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism' discuss the new 7th edition with Multilingual Matters Editorial Director, Anna Roderick, and answer your audience questions, live.

This is not a book I have yet had the pleasure of reading, but this event is sure to be informative.

24th February, 4:00 p.m. local time (8:00 p.m., London). 

Register here.

26th January, 2021

Here is a taster of what is to come in Thursday afternoon's online book launch and chat. 

24th January, 2021

I am very excited to announce this opportunity. 

Thursday 28th January @ 8 p.m. GMT/4 p.m. BVI time: the launch of a new book by Eowyn Crisfield, author or the website On Raising Bilingual Children. The book is called Bilingual Families: A Practical Language Planning Guide. Join her via Zoom for the launch and a question and answer session. 

Details (and a 25% discount coupon for the book if claimed by 31st January) here

4th January, 2021

Happy New Year, everyone! I do hope you were all able to celebrate with family and friends near and far, and took the opportunity to expose your children to some of the traditions of your various cultures and languages. Here are a couple of links for your inspiration!

The We Live Languages round-up of how 2020 shaped some parents' approaches to the use, learning and teaching of home languages. This is on Instagram, for those of you who use that medium.

And a wonderful article - and Arabic language talk - from TED, Don't Kill Your Language. Do check out ted.com - you may be able to find talks and articles in your own languages, and in other languages you might be learning. A wonderful resource for the grown-ups! There are many multilingual resources available, thanks to the voluntary TED translators.

27th November, 2020

Hello there. I just wanted to share how much I appreciate the regular short newsletters I get via email from Madalena at We Live Languages.  Here's the latest in response to a question about whether "it is possible to learn two languages equally well from the start, or if there is always going to be a first no matter what?" 

8th November, 2020

If you need convincing about the multilingual nature of our school community, have a look at the graphic above, which reflects the languages other than English spoken by families of students who are enrolled this year.  I'd also like to invite you to check out the links below. 

As school transitioned to our remote learning model, we adapted plans to get together for a chat and met via Zoom instead.
Click on the heading above to view this tweet from @Babel_Babies
Great visual about the benefits of bilingualism, courtesy@educatorofbmls.