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The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition edition (July 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061246565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061246562
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kendall King, Ph.D., and Alison Mackey, Ph.D. are linguistics professors at Georgetown University. Between them, they have written nearly a hundred research articles and books on bilingualism and language teaching methods. Also, they are both parents, teaching their children more than one language.


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Customer Reviews

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My mom gifted this book to me when my son was born eight months ago.
Angie
The Bilingual Edge is a book you MUST read - if you want your child to learn more than one language.
Kathryn Esplin
This book discussed many important points about raising bilingual children.
Lifelong Learner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Dr. B on July 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
King and Mackey have done something quite near and dear to my heart, which is to make sound research findings available to parents and teachers and anyone who is interested. Additionally, its a fun read with humor and personal anecdotes from real parents. This book is fairly unique such that it was written by two women who are both professors and mothers. Not only do they do a great job of synthesizing cutting edge research on cognitive development, they write as experienced moms who know ropes of parenting as well. They take research data about how children learn second or third languages and turn them into concrete ideas that you can put into practice in the grocery store or at dinner. I also LOVE the fact that they take on the many myths around second language learning. There are so many 'truths' about bilingual children that are propagated but are just not accurate or have been disproven. And as a person who never misses the opportunity to debunk the myth that Baby Einstein is educational, I really like to hear people talking science instead of just what will sell. I think this book is a great tool for people in quite a few situations, from those who have second language they wish to teach their child, to those who only speak English but who are really interested in all the benefits there are to being bilingual. This is definitely a great choice for parenting book clubs or as a gift for a friend.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jane on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
My husband is French speaking, and I am English speaking. I was looking for a book with advice on how to best teach both languages to our children. Most of the book is about why bilingualism is good, and how to encourage it if the parents are not bilingual. This book sorely lacks practical advice for parents in bilingual families. I have now bought Language Strategies for Bilingual Families by Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, which I am hoping will be better.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Lifelong Learner on July 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having decided to raise bilingual children in spite of not being a native Spanish speaker, I spoke to my first child 99% of the time in Spanish. My younger daughter seemed to have a harder time understanding Spanish and I became lazier and started speaking more English at home. I'm very happy that I read this book when I did because it's given me many reasons to start speaking Spanish to my children almost all of the time.

This book discussed many important points about raising bilingual children. First it debunks 10 common myths about raising bilingual children. Secondly, it lists 10 facts about raising bilingual children. It includes important statistics such as the percentage of 2nd generation and 3rd generation children from Spanish speaking ancestors who speak Spanish. Other information that I found helpful was the research that not all children in the family have the same amount of bilingualism and factors that contribute to this and how raising bilingual children is "swimming against the tide" and why it is so challenging. It also stressed that it's important for children to interact in the 2nd language about 20% of the time. Once the children reach school-age, this becomes very challenging since most of our schools are unfortunately not dual language schools. I placed my children in ESL classes so they would make friends who spoke Spanish, and I've been impressed with the academic excellence of their Spanish speaking friends. This book discussed research results of how bilingualism helps in other academic areas.

This book reaffirmed my commitment to raising bilingual children. It's worth the effort! It was also encouraging to read that even non-native speakers can successfully raise bilingual children.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Esplin on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
So you want your child to learn another language? But you aren't sure which language or when to start?

The Bilingual Edge is a book you MUST read - if you want your child to learn more than one language. Think it can't be done?

Perhaps you believe that children who learn their native language at home, then learn English as a second language may never become fully proficient in either language.

Many people believe such myths, say authors King and Mackey. But they are just that - myths.

Read on. The authors dispel myths that people have about language learning. Schools of thought have gone from one side to the other in recent decades. I remember when people seemed to believe that a child could learn language most easily when they were about five years of age. That was about 40 years ago.

Fast forward a few decades to the prevailing wisdom which states that children who spoke more than one language never became as proficient in either language.

Fast forward again to now. King and Mackey present evidence that debunks these earlier myths.

Below are the 10 most common myths about learning a language, as King and Mackey have reported in their book, The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to teach Your Child a Second Language.

"Myths (Page 18)

1. "Only bilingual parents can raise bilingual children and bilingual parents always raise bilingual children.

1. I'm too late! You have to start very early for second language learning or you will miss the boat.

1. Only native speakers and teachers can teach children second languages.

1. Children who are raised in the same family will have the same language skills as one another.

1.
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