Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has weighed in what she thinks are the benefits of a multilingual education.
20% of the people in the US speak another language besides English at home.
56% of Europeans are bilingual.
About half of the entire world probably knows more than one language. Lots of Indians know more than one dialect and many Chinese can do both Mandarin and Chinese.
A better statistic might be how many people know more than one of the top 10 languages used in the world.
Some countries teach the humanities in the countries home language but teach math in English. This helps the students prepare to study technical languages in English when they are older.
It is important for future students to be able to communicate in a dominant language used globally as well as preserve their national identity = know their own culture by mastering their own language used at home.
The question is where to start?
English, Chinese, Spanish, Russian? What other languages dominate the globe and are used outside of the home country?
My bet is that by the time I am ready to go to school … a 3rd language will prove mighty useful.
What do you think?
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.