Learning to Learn Languages

Here is an interesting page of books that might help you learn to learn languages better: Language Books at Learn in Freedom.org.

Bilingual Children BookI found this link through a book suggestion from Soultravelers3, who suggested the book by George Saunders:

Bilingual Children: From Birth to Teens
George Saunders (Clevedon, Avon and Philadelphia, PA: Bilingual Matters, 1988) (ISBN 1-85359-009-6). xiii and 274 pages; glossary, bibliography (which has a GREAT list of titles of similar interest), indexes. Saunders is from English-speaking monolingual ancestors, going back at least six generations on all sides of his family. He studied German in college, got to study abroad for a while, and then decided to bring up his children bilingually. The book describes his remarkable successful experiment in bringing up three children as German speakers in Australia. KMBseen_SPP

. click to see book description at Amazon. Someone else recently recommended this book to me. Unfortunately it seems to be hard to find and expensive ($47 used, $76 new). Soultravelers3 are two parents who are mostly anglophone, (father speaks some Spanish), raising their daughter to be trilingual as they travel the world. Do check out their blog.

Anyways, this Saunders book seems to be a precursor to the trilingual parenting book I like: Growing Up with Three Languages. Has anyone else read the Saunders book and recommends it enough for me to spend $50 on it?


4 responses to “Learning to Learn Languages

  1. Thanks so much for the “shout out”! 😉 I loved that book, but I wouldn’t pay that price for it. I haven’t read the 2nd one you mention, but it likely has similar information.

    Perhaps try to track it down through the library system?

    Thanks for adding me to your blog roll & I will do the same as soon as I do the next batch. I’m in a time crunch now because we are packing up for our moving RV phase now.

    Here is another, unrelated link you might like:


  2. Now that I have looked a little deeper at the book you liked about trilingualism, I see it is done the easiest way. 2 parents who are native speakers ( and have relative native speakers in the homeland) and live in the third language which is the dominant one.

    It is still hard, but native speakers ( & their relatives) have GREAT advantages. ( Still many do not succeed as I’ve known many who just gave up, including my sis in law).

    What is particularly nice about the Saunders book is that they were NOT native speakers ( although the dad was VERY fluent by hard work over many, many years) and they had the added disadvantage of having no native speakers near by.

    So it is more like your challenge with Mandarin. (and ours as well as the Spanish).

    Many of the keys you already know thought, immerse, immerse, immerse. Luckily some of that is easier today than ever before via tech & Skype calls & such.

    Anyhoo, good luck & my frugal mind says find the book for a normal price some where or the library. 😉

    People ( even native speaking parents) give up on the bi and tri lingualism because it IS a lot of hard work, for a long, long time.

    It is the parents tenaciousness and commitment more than anything. …ever vigilant. It is worth it, but I must say, I had no idea what I was getting into 91/2 years ago with languages or the 2 instruments. LOL.

    It is a precious gift to give to your child.

  3. Thanks for the book recommendations and the link to the travelers’ blog. Yep, I vote for Interlibrary Loan too. If your local public library doesn’t do that (or charges an arm and a leg), perhaps a friend connected to a university could request it for you through the school’s ILL service?

  4. Hey girl, I just checked in on you, I miss you! I am sort of back to blogging and checking out some of my favs from yesteryear! 🙂

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