The teenage years are a fascinating time in the life of any family, but what happens when the challenges of parenting teenagers are combined with the desire to help your children build on their multilingual abilities? In this follow-up to Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven, Xiao-lei Wang offers a unique insight into the dynamics of a multilingual family. She combines practical, evidence-based advice with rich detail from observations of her own family to offer support and inspiration on an aspect of multilingual parenting that has received comparatively little attention. By placing language within the wider context of teenagers’ cognitive and social development, this book will enable parents everywhere to help and guide their children through the next step in their multilingual journey.
Colin Baker once compared parents of multilingual children to gardeners, who need to make sure the garden gets sufficient sunlight, water and nutrients. Xiao-lei Wang (2008) showed herself to be an accomplished gardener for her pre-teen biracial and trilingual sons. In this book she describes how her efforts and strategies paid off with her sons entering adulthood as smart, open-minded and articulate multilinguals.
- Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Turbulent teenage years and multilingualism: this can be a challenge for any parent! Xiao-lei Wang shows us how to navigate through the adolescence years by sharing her own personal experiences in raising multilingual teenagers. Personal anecdotes are balanced with scholarly research and practical advice. This is an informative and enjoyable read for any parent with teenagers!
- Alice Lapuerta, mother of three trilingual children and former editor of Multilingual Living Magazine
Xiao-lei Wang is our own personal tour guide on the journey of raising multilingual children during their adolescent years. She shows us that it is possible for our children’s multilingualism to not only thrive during these years, but to grow and develop into an even richer linguistic and cultural tapestry. This book is more than a study of one family’s experiences raising multilingual teenagers. It is a road-map, backed by research and common sense, filled with specific tips, suggestions and insights which we can use to further our own family’s multilingualism. It is a joy to read and will leave you feeling more empowered in your ability to continue raising your children multilingually during a time when they may be eager to spread their wings and fly.
- Corey Heller, Founder of Multilingual Living
Xiao-lei Wang is Professor and Acting Dean of the School of Education at Pace University, USA. She is the author of Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven (Multilingual Matters, 2008) and Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family (Multilingual Matters, 2011). She is a regular speaker on child development and parenting at local, national and international parents’ associations and academic conferences.