Living Languages: Multilingualism across the Lifespan

Overview

Globalization is on everyone's tongue, and the discussion is not only limited to economic exchange, but expands to the intermingling of cultural values. To be truly successful in the international arena, whether as an immigrant, student, businessperson, or tourist, openness toward other cultures is vital and the most obvious door to those cultures is through language. Learning a second language is no longer an option for many, it is both a survival tool and an opportunity. This book is an aid to parents, ...

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Overview

Globalization is on everyone's tongue, and the discussion is not only limited to economic exchange, but expands to the intermingling of cultural values. To be truly successful in the international arena, whether as an immigrant, student, businessperson, or tourist, openness toward other cultures is vital and the most obvious door to those cultures is through language. Learning a second language is no longer an option for many, it is both a survival tool and an opportunity. This book is an aid to parents, educators, researchers, and individuals who want facts about foreign language learning in order to apply concrete tools to maximize their potential in this area, independent of their age.

This book examines the various factors in successful multilingualism across the lifespan, discussing groups such as those lucky enough to enjoy bilingualism from birth to those who become foreign language learners in adulthood. Special attention is paid to a critique of the academic critical years concept and the question, how long does it take a non-native speaker to become fluent? While many are concerned with bilingualism, millions around the world live with three or more languages. For those considering adding a third language, this book looks at the benefits of bilingualism that transfer to trilingualism. Finally, the book establishes methods for teaching foreign languages and hints for home support that maximize each person's potential for languages.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Living Languages is aimed at parents, teachers and researchers with its practical information on the language learning process, the key factors in raising multilingual children, as well as the impact of the environment (family, schools and society) on the language-learning process…. Living Languages encourages families and educators to continue in their goal of providing children in families, schools and communities with as much language opportunities and exposure as possible, no matter how young or old they happen to be. We are shown that the lifelong emotional, social, and global benefits of multilingualism outweigh the efforts in the long run."

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Multilingual Living Magazine

"Tokuhama-Espinosa (director, Center for Educational Development, Ecuador) provides a resource for parents and teachers to explore linguistic, sociocultural, and neuropsychological theories of second- and third-language acquisition, including a discussion of seven life stages from birth to adulthood….This book is an invitation to parents, teachers, and policy makers to extend multilingualism across the lifespan. Recommended."

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Choice

"Living Languages is a comprehensive text that provides not only information about the various factors in successful language learning, but also a unique window into the influence and impact of language learning on the author's own multilingual family. This is the author's third book in which she has chosen to explore the benefits of bilingualism/multilingualism….Her book is based on over 700 studies and her own family's interactions with language development. Many of the questions that are addressed in the book were posed while she was conducting workshops with parents and educators in 15 countries, so they address practical as well as theoretical concerns."

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MultiCultural Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275999124
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

TRACEY TOKUHAMA-ESPINOSA is Director of the Center for Educational Development in Quito, Ecuador and Professor of Education, at the University of San Francisco de Quito. She is the author of the acclaimed book, Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children (Bergin and Garvey, 2000) and The Multilingual Mind: Issues Discussed by, for, and about People Living with Many Languages (Praeger, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 Raising Multilingual Children: The Ingredients, the Recipes, and Your Personal Banquet (Why This Book Is for You) 1

Chapter 2 The Global Community and Multilingualism: Who, Why, When, Where, and How Being Multilingual Has Grown in the Past Decade, and What This Means for Your Children 15

Chapter 3 Languages across the Lifespan 25

Chapter 4 How Long Does It Take a Non-Native Speaker to Become Fluent in a Second, Third, or Subsequent Language? 63

Chapter 5 A Special Word about Third Languages 81

Chapter 6 The Brain and Languages 115

Chapter 7 Putting It All Together: How This Information Shows Us How to Reach the Potential of Every Multilingual 141

Chapter 8 Our Story 181

Notes 207

References 223

Index 273

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