Dr. Anita and Learning a Heritage Language: It's not just Academic

Photo credit: @prajwalxavier

BhashaKids explores heritage language loss and how to relearn your mother tongue as an adult. The 2 Anitas recount stories from their past, discuss how it was difficult to learn Malayalam growing up in the US, and their efforts to relearn their heritage language as adults. This session is useful not just to adults trying to relearn their language, but also to parents trying to raise their kids as bilinguals and teach their children languages. You will learn: 

  • The difference between learning a language and learning a heritage language. 
  • Challenges to learning a heritage language as kids. 
  • Resources that are available today to help Malayalam learners. (That weren’t there when we were growing up!)
  • Why kids are great language learners.
  • Tips for relearning heritage language as an adult.
  • Why learning to read Desi languages will help you speak it.

The main takeaway? Heritage languages are not just academic. They are wrapped up in feelings, emotions, and the psychology of being a first generation child of immigrants. For a child to fully embrace their heritage language, they must also embrace their hyphenated identity: Indian - (insert other nationality here). 

This is a long interview but so many great ideas  are brought out. Stay tuned to our grid for highlights and important points on this topic. 

Are you an adult relearning Malayalam? Check out these IG accounts to #learnMalayalam

Eliza @elikutty

Sachin @EasyMalayalam

Sonja @FluentinMalayalam

Gokul @EverydayMalayalam

Aparna @invertedcoconut

These are just a few of the great resources out there, but there are many more. Thanks to Dr. Anita for sharing her story with us!

Also check out the Bhashakids Malayalam Collection 

| BK Interview 5 | 



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