2012 Updates

It has been a while! It is now near the end of the year (or end of the world to some). I think it is a good time to post some updates. Perhaps I should first explain why I have not posted for so long. There are a few reasons. Other than the usual ‘busy’ […]

Las Escuelas de Inmersión en Francés

(This is a “Spanish Friday” post. Here is the English version, according to the Fish) Tracy en Latinaish.com ha tenido una buena idea: “Spanish Friday“. Así que voy a escribir esta entrada en español. Hoy Roxana decidió no enviar su hija a una escuela bilingüe, porque había algunos problemas. Es muy decepcionante para Roxana. Siendo […]

The Challenge of Raising Multilingual Kids

Many parents struggle with the challenge of raising their kids bilingually. I have the challenge of raising mine quadrilingually. Cantonese has always been my daughter’s first language, and I as a parent will try my best to keep it up. English is the social language of our community, and naturally it will become more dominant […]

Paid Language Tutoring

In the past few months, I have been focusing on a lot speaking activities. During the summer, I paid for some conversation practices in Spanish. I tried three different tutors online, and ended up picking one to continue with throughout the summer. In the past year or so, my Spanish learning activities consist of listening, […]

Languages and Business Opportunities

This morning I and my wife went to a Chinese café for breakfast. Somehow they offered free Chinese newspaper. I looked for the headline expecting some specular world event to unfold. To my disappointment, the headline read “華裔移民第二代 喜中西合璧婚宴” (2nd-generation Chinese prefer Chinese-Western fusion wedding banquets). It also showed the photo of a businessman who […]

Speak Only When Ready – But When Will You be Ready?

There was an interesting exchange between Steve the Linguist and Benny the Irish Polyglot. I downloaded the podcast more than a week ago but only managed to get through it on a red-eye flight back from Seattle yesterday. In brief, Steve thinks that we should first immerse ourselves into a lot of input activities and […]

Google’s Babel Fish

Here is my latest fish-joke. It was Chinese New Year last week. My colleague of Mexican origin instant-messaged me: ‘新年好’ (good New-Year). Obviously, he had been playing around with Google Translate. So I challenged him that, with the help of Google Translate, he should not have any more excuse not to chat with me in […]

Language Cascades

About 3 weeks ago, I accompanied my 4-year-old to play in a public play area. Watching her running around, I suddenly heard a mother beside me yelling at her kids, “¡Ven acá!” (come here). My first impression was – ok, the Latino population has indeed increased in my area. My second thought was – what […]

What is Natural Approach really?

Keith commented on my previous post, questioning on how SRS can fit into the “natural language learning” model. After all, it is not natural. It seems to be me that different “language naturists” have different degrees of “naturalness” in their approaches. By all means, I am in favour of the “natural approach” as opposed to […]

Spelling in Spanish

This incident happened about 2 months ago. I and a colleague arrived at the airport in Atlanta. He was a Mexican-immigrant from Toronto, and it was my first time working with him. We hopped into our rental car. After spending about 5 minutes or so figuring how to start the car using the state-of-art ‘keyless’ […]

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