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Category Archives: LANGUAGE

Liederkranz at the Blumenau Oktoberfest, 2016

Show dos ” Velhos Camaradas” na Oktoberfest de 2016, em Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brasil.

Video by the Lima-Miranda traveling couple ūüėä Enjoy!

For more info on this folk group, feel free to visit:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1786675414884228&id=1420663611485412

 

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“To have a second language is to possess a second soul” (Charlemagne)

Already mentioned here my [random] thoughts on the whole bi/multilingual culture {Comments and extra thoughts on being a multilingual parent…}, and its obvious benefits, not only to the growing child, but also for the society that child is part of… Recently, CNN¬†brought out an interesting/challenging/poking discussion on a study about ‘lifelong bilinguals’ {Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains} and the development of their brains… also, worth to check it out [I clearly did, it’s part of who I’m… that said, I had no other option but to join the discussion forum with my 2 cents growing up as a nomad child, and now a ‘trailing spouse’ and mother to 3 TCKs].

I’m always on the lookout for interesting resources for supporting our toddlers’ learning, I stumbled upon this very interesting article from Multilingual Living, which I’m sharing below.

A very good resource for parents of TCKs, homeschooling parents, or any parent concerned about improving their children’s learning skills, without loosing track of reality. ¬†From our “tentative trilingual home” to yours

Good reading!

Benefits of Multilingualism

By MichaŇā¬†B. Paradowski
Institute of Applied Linguistics,
 University of Warsaw

The advantages that multilinguals exhibit over monolinguals are not restricted to linguistic knowledge only, but extend outside the area of language. The substantial long-lived cognitive, social, personal, academic, and professional benefits of enrichment bilingual contexts have been well documented. Children and older persons learning foreign languages have been demonstrated to:

  • have a keener awareness and sharper perception of language. Foreign language learning ‚Äúenhances children‚Äôs understanding of how language itself works and their ability to manipulate language in the service of thinking and problem solving‚ÄĚ;¬†
  • be more capable of separating meaning from form;
  • learn more rapidly in their native language (L1), regardless of race, gender, or academic level;
  • be more efficient communicators¬†in the L1;
  • be consistently better able to deal with distractions, which may help offset age-related declines in mental dexterity;
  • develop a markedly better language proficiency in, sensitivity to, and understanding of their mother tongue;
  • develop a greater vocabulary size over age, including that in their L1;
  • have a better ear for listening and sharper memories;
  • be better language learners in institutionalized learning contexts because of more developed language-learning capacities owing to the more complex linguistic knowledge and higher language awareness;
  • have increased ability to apply more reading strategies effectively due to their greater experience in language learning and reading in two‚ÄĒor more‚ÄĒdifferent languages;
  • develop not only better verbal, but also spatial abilities;
  • parcel up and categorize meanings in different ways;
  • display generally greater cognitive flexibility, better problem solving and higher-order thinking skills;
  • ‚Äúa person who speaks multiple languages has a stereoscopic vision of the world from two or more perspectives, enabling them to be more flexible in their thinking, learn reading more easily. Multilinguals, therefore, are not restricted to a single world-view, but also have a better understanding that other outlooks are possible. Indeed, this has always been seen as one of the main educational advantages of language teaching‚ÄĚ;¬†
  • multilinguals can expand their personal horizons¬†and‚ÄĒbeing simultaneously insiders and outsiders‚ÄĒsee their own culture from a new perspective not available to monoglots, enabling the comparison, contrast, and understanding of cultural concepts;
  • be better problem-solvers gaining multiple perspectives on issues at hand;
  • have improved critical thinking abilities;
  • better understand and appreciate people of other countries, thereby lessening racism, xenophobia, and intolerance, as the learning of a new language usually brings with it a revelation of a new culture;
  • learn further languages more quickly and efficiently than their hitherto monolingual peers;
  • to say nothing of the social and employment advantages of being bilingual¬†{Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains}‚Äď offering the student the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to interact with, and increasing job opportunities in many careers {The Value In Being Bilingual or Multilingual}.
 
21 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2016 in EDUCATION, LANGUAGE, resources, TCKs

 

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The endless challenges of raising multilingual kids…

Dialects of Portuguese in Brazil

Dialects of Portuguese in Brazil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This is another example of my many moments of introspective thoughts… This is one of those days when I try to understand [and accept!] the decisions we’ve made for our lifestyle, the way we’re raising our children, the kind of education parameters we [husband and I] need to make available to them… As part of the educational tools my children need to be exposed to, are, for sure, the language/communication/social expression tools.

I’ve already mentioned here my [random] thoughts on the whole bi/multilingual culture {Comments and extra thoughts on being a multilingual parent…}, and its obvious benefits, not only to the growing child, but also for the society that child is part of…

My children are surely enjoying their school break – another 2 full weeks to go, and they’ll be back at¬†a familiar environment – an international school, surrounded by Spanish speaking classmates, and other expats, mainly from neighboring South American countries, a few European¬†reps, and the well-known US-American crowd.

All fun and games, until it came to reinforce the endless/continuous need for them [my kids] to keep speaking Portuguese¬†at home. Since I spend several hours at work, I’m not with them to ‘remind’ my lovies¬†the importance of keeping up with ‘mommy’s language’…

KeyboardLayout-Portuguese-Brazil

KeyboardLayout-Portuguese-Brazil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They speak to the nanny in Spanish, to other American kids in English. The TV is mostly in English, with a few Spanish options. I’m their only link to Portuguese, right now¬†– and I feel it’s my duty to¬†stress the rule of¬† ‘if mom is home, you should only talk to her in Portuguese, as well as, to each other”.

Guess what’s happening? The rule is definitely off. We [parents] had it all planned out:¬†our kick-off was¬†the One Parent One Language (OPOL) method, where one parent speaks the minority language, which would be, in my case, Portuguese. My husband would have the kids¬†started in Spanish [his father’s mother tongue], and gradually move on to English [husband’s mother’s tongue], as school moved on and our children required a deeper knowledge of English… We knew their/kids’ brains are hard-wired for language acquisition and children up to three years old easily process both languages.

Our 3 children had an early ‘linguistic’ start. They’re now 8; 6 and 3 years old – and were introduced to different languages as early as their birthdate. Soon, our family will be transitioning from our current Spanish-speaking setting, to a Brazilian Portuguese scenario… how would my kids [re]adapt? What would be the social, emotional, psychological impacts this imminent move may bring? Only time will tell us…

José Saramago

José Saramago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now, it seems not to be working. Maybe, it’s because we’re tired at the end of the day? Or¬†because the kids see me talking to their dad in¬†English; and to their day-time nanny in Spanish, they believe it’s okay to leave Saramago‘s language aside, and completely pretend they don’t know Portuguese [??].

So here I am, asking for suggestions [??], trying to figure out an easy [and painless] way out…¬†,

I’m always on the lookout for interesting resources for supporting our toddlers’ learning, I stumbled upon this very interesting article from Multilingual Living, which I’ve shared here before.

From our “tentative trilingual home” to yours… Thank you for reading… and for any suggestions that come our way!ūüėģ

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2014 in EDUCATION, LANGUAGE, resources, TCKs

 

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‚ÄėSaudade‚Äô, the untranslatable word for missing something or someone‚Ķ

saudade

Hoje, eu sinto¬†Saudade. I believe it’s related to our constant nomadic mode, moving every so often‚Ķ I miss a place and a time that may not exist anymore‚Ķ But please, don’t get me wrong! It’s not a ‘sad feeling’ ‚Äď I live the happiest life I could’ve¬†asked for: the dearest husband, my loving kids, pursuing our dreams‚Ķ

We’re on the ‘home stretch’ right now: less than 3 months to depart post… again… pack-out… again… Today I realized I’m a bit tired of this, but I also know that, with a little time to adjust [again!], it’ll all be fine, at last. But right now, I’m feeling saudade… and we haven’t even left yet! What a crazy feeling, ¬†crazy lifestyle… and right now I’m asking myself: ‘why did we decide to do this?’ And I know there are no answers for this rhetorical question – once you join or decide to move along with this Foreign Service life, you’ve signed off on all the perks, advantages and challenges that come along with it – and we did sign it… and we’ve read thru the fine print… and we’ve discussed the pros and cons… But, although we’re extremely satisfied with our life choices, today… I feel Saudade… Saudade of a stable lifestyle… saudade of a time we didn’t have to move, change, adapt and adjust… Saudade of not having to tell our children they’ll have to leave their school friends behind, and should be excited for making new ones… at the new school… speaking a new language…

Oh well, thanks to my dear Portuguese language, I’m able to express my current feelings using one single word – and not bother trying to clearly translate it – “Saudade” – my March 11, 2014 pure self!

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one of my favorite words in Portuguese – ‘saudade‘. It‚Äôs an expression with a lot of emotion and deep sense of compassion. There‚Äôs no comparison to this word in English; and definitely, doesn’t carry the same degree of emotion involved‚Ķ Few other languages have a word with such meaning, making saudade a distinct mark of Portuguese culture.

Olavo Bilac

Olavo Bilac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Considering I went deep into my thoughts, I went out looking for ‘ closer definitions’ of this unique feeling, which according to my father’s quote of Olavo Bilac, ‘represents the presence of the ones who are absent..‘. I simply love this quote, since I was a child. Back then, and still living in Brazil, I couldn’t really perceive the true meaning of his words ‚Äď ‘how can somebody/something be present, and yet, absent?‘How could I miss something I’d never experienced before?’

Saudade

Saudade (Photo credit: Fábio Pinheiro)

Today, as a grown woman, I understand my dad’s words, and they’ve become a part of who I am, and how I carry myself through life. I need to feel ‘Saudade‘, it’s a requirement to keep living, we all need to be linked to our past, and we need to long for people, moments, places and emotions that were part of our development as humans. Saudade makes us more humane, more grounded, more prompt to learn through our emotions‚Ķ

Saudade

Saudade (Photo credit: A Sheep in Man’s Clothing)

So now, going into the ‘formal definitions’: the Urban Dictionary describes the word as used to “explain the feeling of missing something or someone. It is used to tell about something that you used to have (and liked) but don’t have anymore”.

(Portuguese: “yearning“), Saudade was a characteristic of the earliest Portuguese folk poetry and has been cultivated by sophisticated writers of later generations.¬†

Missing Naples

Photo credit: Wikipedia

‚ÄúThe famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.‚ÄĚ (In Portugal,¬†by AFG¬†Bell, 1912).

Chega de Saudade (album)

Chega de Saudade (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Portuguese word ‘saudademeans, broadly, to miss someone or something. But the English miss doesn‚Äôt begin to convey the intensity of the Portuguese word. It can cover the sentiments understood in words such as ‚Äúlonging‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúyearning,‚ÄĚ as well as ‚Äúhomesickness‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnostalgia‚ÄĚ; in fact, it is all of those, and many¬†more. Although saudade first appeared in Portugal somewhere around the 15th century, there is something about it that is particularly suited to Portugal‚Äôs New World child, Brazil, where I come from. Everything there, including feelings, is intense. We [Brazilians]¬†never say ‚ÄúI love you‚ÄĚ casually.

In Brazil, when you say it, it means a lot.

And, then,¬†you feel saudade…ūüėģ

 

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A few thoughts on ‘bilingual homeschooling’.

Already mentioned here my [random] thoughts on the whole bi/multilingual culture {Comments and extra thoughts on being a multilingual parent…}, and its obvious benefits, not only to the growing child, but also for the society that child is part of…¬†

There’s also a very¬†interesting/challenging/poking article from¬†CNN, bringing¬†out the discussion on a study about ‘lifelong bilinguals’ {Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains} and the development of their brains… also, worth to check it out [I clearly did, it’s part of who I’m… that said, I had no other option but to join the discussion forum with my 2 cents growing up as a nomad child, and now a ‘trailing spouse’ and mother to 3 TCKs].

According to Corey Heller [the founder of Multilingual Living and the Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Multilingual Living Magazine], “Home languages almost always take a severe blow the moment our children walk through the schoolhouse doors.¬†

All of a sudden, our children are surrounded by peers, teachers, administrators (even the janitor and bus driver) all day long who speak nothing but the community language.¬† Our children quickly learn that this ‚Äúschool language‚ÄĚ is essential for functioning in society and thus begins the home language‚Äďschool/community language dichotomy (to the distress of many a dedicated parent). However, not all families experience this abrupt change once their children are school age.¬†What is their secret?”¬†

Well, the answer presented by the Multilingual Living author is¬†that parents¬†“choose to educate their children at home and avoid the whole transition all together”.

Personally, we’re trying to get the best of the two worlds: our 2 elementary children attend an international¬†school in Bolivia, where most of the classes are in English, with the optional Spanish as a ‘bonus’ class. The playground language is Spanish. Homework is done in English. I try my best to only speak to the children in Portuguese, and my husband does the same, regarding Spanish. I guess, we’re doing the ‘part-time homeschooling’!

Back to the ‘inspirational article’, “For most families, homeschooling is not about recreating the classroom at home.¬†It is about creating something absolutely brand new and unique; about fostering an environment which is conducive to learning, regardless of material, location or method…” I agree with the author, and just wish I/we could replicate that in our own household!ūüôā And why I say that? Because it’s hard, despite the endless efforts from the parents,

bilingual homeschoolers use an array of resources for learning different subjects.¬†What is most important are the results that come from learning a subject, e.g. being able to read and comprehend what is read, compute mathematical equations on varying levels, write a well-researched and well-argued essay, be familiar with world geography and history, and put the scientific method into practice ‚Äď all of which progresses and matures as our children develop their knowledge and skills…”

And as the author wraps it up, we’re left with a great advice:

How to Homeschool in more than one Language:
“Each family will need to come up with their own bilingual homeschooling plan based on their languages and subjects which they plan to cover.¬† Family members must also decide who will be teaching which subjects in which language and when. Planning is probably the hardest part so families need to make sure they find as many resources as they can ‚Äď general books on homeschooling as well as books in the target language which can be used for specific subjects”.

That said, we’ll keep on trying to assist our children with homework, school projects, reading/writing responses, using not only English. Math problems could be described and explained using my Portuguese. The joy of seeing my son resolving a problem/understanding a text excerpt and¬†writing down the answers in English, carries a totally especial¬†feeling for me. It shows the innate capacity to adapt, to adjust, and to develop a very personal way of thinking, of expressing himself

Leaving you all with nice¬†words of support,¬†from Corey Heller: “The decision to homeschool bilingually can be a frightening one but with enough preparation, support and motivation you can make it a successful one for you and your family.”

If you liked this piece, please take a moment and go visit Multilingual Living website.¬†It’s a¬†very good resource for parents of TCKs, homeschooling parents, or any parent concerned about improving their children’s learning skills, without loosing track of reality. From our “tentative trilingual home“, to yours…‚ô•

***************************************

More?

Benefits of Multilingualism

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 4, 2013 in EDUCATION, LANGUAGE, resources, TCKs

 

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Muito Obrigada!

thank you cloud

Muito obrigada! A habilidade de poder escrever, entender e comunicar em várias línguas tem sido uma vantagem sem preço para toda a minha família. E para tanto, sou muito grata. Obrigada pela possibilidade de compartilhar um blog cuja principal língua é o Inglês, e no entanto, ainda ser capaz de manter o Português da minha origem brasileira, com meu marido e filhos.

Obrigada pela possibilidade de usar no trabalho, uma terceira língua aprendida, o Espanhol.

Languages¬†have¬†become¬†part¬†of¬†my¬†life. I need¬†communication¬†tools¬†in more ways¬†than¬†one, and¬†for all¬†they¬†ways¬†I’ve been [mis]using¬†languages, I’m very thankful. Much√≠simas gracias por la posibilidad¬†de comunicarme¬†con¬†otros¬†en¬†un¬†pa√≠s tan distinto del¬†mio ¬†– Bolivia. Gracias! Thank¬†you! Obrigada!

In response to the Daily Prompt 'Thank You'
 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2013 in ART, LANGUAGE

 

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Pros y contras del uso del Spanglish | Pros and cons of Spanglish use

La G√ľera Pecosa

spanglish_lab

‚Äď- This post was originally written in Spanish. ¬†Scroll down in this post for the English translation! ‚Äď-

Spanglish es la combinaci√≥n del ingl√©s y espa√Īol. ¬†Se escucha m√°s con inmigrantes hispanos quienes tienen mucho tiempo viviendo en EUA; tambi√©n se escucha con sus hijos y nietos.

He creado unas listas cortitas de los pros y contras del uso regular del Spanglish, basados en lo que he leido y visto.

PROS:

  1. Con Spanglish, básicamente tomamos las mejores palabras de cada idioma y las entrelazamos.  |  Ya que hay menos transiciones y traducciones torpes con el Spanglish, el flujo de las frases es más suave.
  2. Algunas palabras y frases simplemente suenan mejor, o son m√°s facilmente comunicadas en un idioma m√°s que en el otro. ¬†| ¬†Por eso, Spanglish puede ser m√°s apropiado que estrictamente ingl√©s o espa√Īol para la conversaci√≥n.
  3. En hogares y comunidades hispanos ubicados en…

View original post 951 more words

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 7, 2013 in LANGUAGE, Português

 

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