Bilingualism/Multilingualism

There are so many resources out there for bilingual/multilingual families that the idea of putting together some sort of definitive compendium that will be relevant to international/multilingual families living in Bergamo and beyond is a little daunting.

 So … my ambitions here are limited. I am including resources that I have personally found interesting, and not bothering with blogs or sites that I’m not that into. I am, however, open to sharing other people’s recommendations, so please let me know if you’d like me to add anything here.
Francois Grosjean
Maybe it’s because I identify with how he grew up, and how his dominant language has changed over time, maybe it’s because I like that he takes biculturalism into account … or maybe I just like his generous definition of bilingual (you do not need to be perfect in both or all of your languages)! Whatever the reason, this is one of my favourite linguists (so far … I’ve only just started learning about this).
I also find him very interesting because he touches on the subject of the deal community and sign language (my brother and his wife and wife’s family are deaf).
Bilingue per gioco
I actually don’t know this blog all that well, but it often pops up when I’m researching specific Italian-English issues.
Stephen Krashen
I’m still studying this one and trying to wrap my head around all those theories … Here’s an accessible intro to Krashen’s theories:
Jim Cummins and BICS/CALP
An easy-to-read introduction to the distinction that linguist Jim Cummins makes between BICS (basic interpersonal communication skills) and CALP (cognitive academic language proficiency).
I had a major lightbulb moment the first time I read about this distinction, because I grew up in six different countries and learned through three languages (with huge variations in degrees of success). I was probably never going to be very good at physics, but having to study it (from scratch) in Spanish, when I had just about become fluent in social situations (but was years from being able to use it adequately in an academic context) did not help.
For more, check out this site.
Articles on bilingualism:
Maria Konnikova in the New York Times
In 1922, in “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,” the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” The words that we have at our disposal affect what we see—and the more words there are, the better our perception. When we learn to speak a different language, we learn to see a bigger world.
I’ll add other resources as and when!

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