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Normalize Multilingualism

“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher World Multilingualism Day also known as the International Day of Multilingualism is now celebrated annually on March 28th. Wait, that’s a thing? Well, yes it is, but don’t worry, you aren’t behind the times. It’s new, started in 2019, just 2 years ago, by Dr. Thomas H. Bak and a group of enthusiastic polyglots. Dr. Thomas Bak is a cognitive neuroscientist who studies the impacts of language learning, in particular bilingualism and multilingualism, on the brain and its impacts on aging. They chose March 27th because this is the date engraved on the Rosetta Stone.  Did you know that more than half the world’s population speaks...

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Teaching Tips!: Chunk It

Do you need help teaching your kids a second language? Here’s a simple teaching tip that you can use at home. When teaching through English, use simple phonetics and: Chunk the word Build on it Recall & Repeat This example is the color RED in TAMIL.  CHUNK IT: Break the word down phonetically and by syllables. Work on pronunciation of each syllable slowly, then slap the sounds together quickly to get the whole word.  BUILD ON IT: Once kids have confidence they can say the word, build upon it by adding more vocabulary. The next example is RED CAR. Use the same chunking technique. RECALL & REPEAT: Have fun here! Quiz them, ask silly questions and play a game. The...

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Pongal: How do you celebrate?

The only thing I knew about "Pongal" before I married my Tamilian husband was that it was a delicious sticky rice dish. I was treated to some as a teenager while visiting an Aunty's home in Southern India and I must admit, I probably ate more than I should have! Pongal is a 4 day Harvest Festival celebrated in mid January, in Tamil Nadu and other South Indian states. It's a wonderful way of marking a season of renewal with several rituals symbolic of "out with the old, in with the new." Here is a summary of each day: Day 1: Bhogi - Get rid of useless household items Day 2: Thai Pongal - Cook and serve sakkarai (sweet) pongal  Day 3: Maddu Pongal -...

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Teach Your Kids while they are YOUNG!

“The young brain is inherently flexible, uniquely hard-wired to acquire language naturally.” Immersion is the best way to acquire language, but in this day and age, it is not enough. Parents can benefit from structure, study aids and proven learning techniques in helping their kids become multilingual as opposed to immersion in a disorganized and inconsistent way. We all know we should be doing it, but how?

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