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Raising Multilingual Children : Foreign Language Acquisition and Children
by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa [edit]

Raising Multilingual Children : Foreign Language Acquisition and Children
********** 10 Stars!
Price: US$ 59.95, Available worldwide on Amazon.com
Check Availability from: Canada or from United Kingdom
ISBN: 0897897501

Description

Evaluates the most recent research in linguistics, neurology, education, and psychology and reinterprets the findings in an easy-to-follow format. Case studies illustrate the many ways families combine ten key factors in order to successfully raise multilingual children. The book encourages parents and teachers to reflect on their personal situations and helps them to foster multilingual skills in the children around them.

Parent's Guide to Multilingual Children, November 18, 2002
Reviewer: Terry Haywood from Milan, Italy
I read this book before putting it in my school's library and enjoyed every minute. Most of the books I read about multilingualism and literacy are not easily accessible to families because of language and terminology - but this manages to be both profound and very readable and the store of case studies is a big help as families will recognize situations and strategies similar to their own. It also bears out my own experience - although I am not a language teacher, as Head of a large international school I come across a great many families who have the anxieties and concerns (as well as the vision and the excitement) of so many parents who are described in this book and who are bringing up their own multilingual children. THis will be a great help and support to them and give them some clear foundations about what their own role as parents can be.

Multilingual is not for avg. family striving for bilingual, June 7, 2003
Reviewer: nkomitsky from Fredericksburg, VA United States
This book gives great insight to the world of language acquisition from many perspectives with supporting evidence. However, aside from the basic description of the ingredients for success and discussion thereof, it is not extremely useful for a family who wants to achieve bilingual fluency alone. It is a well-written, well-researched autobiography of a highly educated family who has become multilingual as a chosen (but essential) skill for their diplomatic lifestyle. It is loaded with brief case studies that are not very relevant to the average American family trying to promote bilingual fluency.

Again, fantastic resource and an easy read if becoming a multi-lingual family is your goal, but if you are looking for a "nuts and bolts how to manual" for bilingual fluency, this falls short (as do many others).


Family Guide, September 16, 2002
Reviewer: bchamula from Melbourne, Australia
I found reading this book to be an easy and enlightening experience.

Tokuhama pitches her book at families, and yet it is surprising how many academic publications and papers are cited along the way: they don't seem to distract from the flow of the text nor from the enthusiasm and practicality of its message.

Towards the end of each section, after reviewing the relevant theories and literature, the author gives us practical examples by moving to the imperfect world, the world we all share, the world of her own family experiences and the experiences of other families in her acquaintance.

This approach brings us together. We have all known some of her rules intuitively, but applied them hesitantly and without conviction, compromising the successes our children could have enjoyed. Tokuhama introduces confidence to this exercise by bringing current expertise and our shared imperfect world (both hers and mine) to a comprehensible interface. I find I believe her because she has actually lived this effort, enjoyed its successes and stressed over its failures as we did with our children.

With her 'windows of opportunity' approach, Tokuhama cites supportive research not only for the 'learning windows' and why they exist, but also for consolidation time slots, and explains them as well. These are a true eye opener. Understanding these windows, particularly the first window, from birth to the age of nine months, brought home to me home that certainly, in our family, opportunities were missed.

Tokuhama further indicates that parents, teachers and care givers take responsibility for providing positive motivation as well as workable and consistent strategies for further language acquisition. She gives many examples of successful strategies that prevent confusing the learning child by creating separate environments for each language.

There is helpful discussion on the usefulness of a more tolerant broader community, making the most of the extended family environment and a comprehensive guide on how a school can improve its setting for additional language acquisition.

Tokuhama tells us how and where we could have done it better: if only we had known all this before'


Good Overview for the Average Educated Reader, August 26, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Denver, Colorado United States
Tracey Tokuhama Espinoza's book is aimed at the educated parent who is trying to raise a child to speak more than one language. Unlike, many of the other books in this category, her book is not written for linguists or educators. She touches on the literature of bilingual and multilingualism but she does not overwhelm her readers with the essoteric details and obscure language of academia. If one wants to go into greater depth, Tokuhama Espinoza provides the links to more serious study.

I found her book to be well written and at its heart optomistic. From her personal and observed experience, she understands and is enthused by the linguistic horizons that are open to small children. This is a good book to help one to begin thinking about these issues.


An EXCELLENT resource re: children + foreign language/s!, May 1, 2002
Reviewer: mary myers from Milan, Italy
I highly recommend, Raising Multilingual Children, written by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. As stated clearly on page one, this Book is for all parents, teachers and caregivers of children who speak more than one language. I also think this Book is a great resource for any parent, who considers learning (a) foreign language(s) an intellectual challenge and a necessary facet for a well-rounded education.

I am a parent of two children ages 3 and 10 who are studying English, Italian and German and this is the first Book 'of many books written by linguists and/or educators- I have read which helped me understand foreign language acquisition, and neuroanatomy in a very practical and logical way. The Book's format compares cooking (something almost everyone can relate to'to foreign language acquisition- a subject that is often written by linguists in a technical and academically complex manner).

I found the 90 family case studies/detailed accounts of family experiences with foreign languages helpful as I could relate to many issues I have encountered with my older daughter. I also gained valuable information by reading many personal family experiences that Ms. Tokuhama-Espinosa shares about her 3 children.

This Book was built upon the foundation of Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa's 12 years of valuable diverse experience as a counselor of students in two international schools-Tokyo and Quito, conducting research and attending lectures at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and living in multilingual /culturally diverse countries. Contained here in this Book are: an excellent 'family language profile' 'family language goals worksheet', and an extensive appendix of how to find language sources in a scarce language environment, an excellent glossary of linguistic terms and an extensive bibliography. There is also a chapter that addresses difficulties in foreign language acquisition, which gives some strategies for solving problems that arise.

For anyone who wants to know more about children learning foreign language(s) children -or moves and finds their child/ren in the situation of learning a new language this Book is a must read!


Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa (Biography)

TRACEY TOKUHAMA-ESPINOSA is a native of California who studied her Master's of Education at Harvard University, and has taught in international schools in Japan, Ecuador, and France. Tracey has given numerous workshops on raising multilingual children to schools and families throughout Switzerland and France. She speaks and writes in English and Spanish fluently, knows conversational French, some Japanese, and basic German. 

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