7 Myths and Facts About Bilingual Children | RPI College
7 Myths and Facts About Bilingual Children | RPI College

​​​Approximately 20% of children in the United States speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish as the most common non-English language. The research on the benefits of bilingualism is constantly growing. Becoming bilingual supports children to maintain strong ties with their entire family, culture, and community—key parts of a child developing his or her identity. However, some big misconceptions about learning two languages persist.

 

Here are some of the common myths that parents may have heard—and set the record straight:

1. Myth: Exposing infants and toddlers to more than one language may cause delays in their speech or language development.

Fact: Milestones of pre-language development are the same in all languages. Like other children, most bilingual children speak their first words by age one (i.e., mama, dada). By age two, most bilingual children can use two-word phrases (i.e., my ball, no juice). These are the same developmental milestones for children who learn only one language. A bilingual toddler might mix parts of a word from one language with parts from another language. While this might make it more difficult for others to understand the child's meaning, it is not a reflection of abnormal or delayed development. The total number of words (the sum of words from both languages the child is learning) should be comparable to the number used by a child the same age speaking one language.

 

2. Myth: Speaking two languages to a child may cause a speech or language disorder.

Fact: If a bilingual child has a speech or language problem, it will show up in both languages. However, these problems are not caused by learning two languages. Bilingualism should almost never be used an explanation for speech or language disorder.

 

3. Myth: Learning two languages will confuse your child.

Fact: Some bilingual children may mix grammar rules from time to time, or they might use words from both languages in the same sentence (i.e., "quiero mas juice" [I want more juice]). This is a normal part of bilingual language development and does not mean that your child is confused. Usually by age 4, children can separate the different languages but might still blend or mix both languages in the same sentence on occasion. They will ultimately learn to separate both languages correctly.

 

4. Myth: Children with speech or language processing disorders can have more difficulty learning a second language.

Fact: Children with speech and language disorders may have more difficulty learning a second language but research shows many can do so successfully.

 

5. Myth: Bilingual children will have academic problems once they start school.

Fact: The school setting that best suits bilingual children depends on the age of the child. Immersion in an English language-speaking classroom is the best approach for younger children, but is less effective for older students. For example, older kids in high school would be better served to get instruction in the language they know while they're learning English. Research shows many academic advantages of being bilingual, including superior problem solving and multitasking skills, as well as increased cognitive flexibility.

 

6. Myth: If a child does not learn a second language when he or she is very young, he or she will never be fluent.

Fact: Although the ideal language-learning window is during the first few years of life—the most rapid period of brain development—older children and adults can still become fluent in a second language.

 

7. Myth: If a child is not equally fluent in both languages, he or she is not truly bilingual.

​​Fact: Many people who are bilingual have a dominant language, which can change over time, depending on how often the language is used. In the United States, it is not uncommon for a child's dominant language to become English—school-aged children usually prefer to speak in the majority language instead of the one that is spoken by their parents. Just because someone is not equally fluent in both languages does not mean he or she is not bilingual. Regular use and practice of verbal communication, along with writing and reading, will help children (and adults) retain their second language long-term.

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10 Ways to Effectively Learn English Vocabulary | RPI College
10 Ways to Effectively Learn English Vocabulary | RPI College

1. Define it. Write out each word and their meanings. The act of transferring a word and its meaning to paper helps commit the information to long-term memory.

 

2. Draw it. Get creative! Pictures can help create a connection between a word and its definition. This is an excellent method for visual learners. Post your doodle on Instagram using #powerscore and don’t forget to tag us, we would love to see what you come up with!

 

3. Contextualize it. Write the word in a new sentence or two. Using words in context will help visualize and cement its meaning.

 

4. Type it. Type each word into a document or spreadsheet and try to define each word without looking at definitions.

 

5. Fictionalize it. Write a short story using 10-20 vocab words. This can help you contextualize and remember definitions on test day. Write us a comment below with the short story you’ve come up with using your vocabulary words!

 

6. Deconstruct it. Analyze the roots, prefixes, and suffixes to get a better understanding of the word. Learning to associate words with related words can help you solve even the toughest questions.

 

7. Group it. Organize commonly used vocab words so you can associate words with similar meanings.

 

8. Speak it. Read the word aloud and say it in a sentence. Some audio learners find it easier to retain information when its spoken. Bonus, record yourself to playback later or take it a step further and use the podcast method.

 

9. Share it. Ask someone if they could quiz you, listen to your short story, or let you teach them the words you’re learning.

 

10. Quiz it. Make your own vocab quizzes! Experts believe people learn best when they teach, so write your own quizzes and take them a week or two later.

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Try These Tricks the Next Time Small Talk Becomes Unbearable | RPI College
Try These Tricks the Next Time Small Talk Becomes Unbearable | RPI College

Expert advice on how to upgrade endless chit-chat into a meaningful conversation.

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Real talk

Bonnie Todd runs 250 food tours in Victoria, B.C., a year—a job that puts her in contact with hundreds of new people every week. Food-lovers come to her for an introduction to the local tastes and flavours. And a large part of what keeps her guests satisfied, and willing to recommend her business to others, is the personal connection she makes with them.

“I try to get past the small talk and general recommendations pretty quickly,” says the 42-year-old owner of Off the Eaten Track. “It’s all about finding common ground within the group, and trying to make it a unique experience. So I’m always asking questions. And when I find that spark of commonality, I dig into it.”

The practice is key to Todd’s approach because, unlike many tours, hers require people to sit together sharing food and drinks. When groups don’t gel, or never get past the “Where are you from?” stage, what should be a stimulating experience can turn into an awkward and draining couple of hours.

We’ve all been there: trapped in a superficial exchange that bounces aimlessly from one meaningless topic to the next. It can make you never want to step foot into another party again. But don’t despair: there are some tactics that can help you turn boring small talk into an energizing conversation

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Put yourself out there

As a member of Second City’s Mainstage company, improv performer Natalie Metcalfe’s job is to keep a scene going—to create an exchange that’s compelling for both the people involved and for a live audience.

“In improv, it’s all about offers,” she says, referring to the act of bringing new information into the dialogue. Through these back-and-forths, the relationship between the characters is established and that kicks things off. “It’s the same thing in a regular conversation. You’re constantly making offers to see if you and the person you’re talking to can connect.”

An offer in real life can be as simple as complimenting someone on what they’re wearing, and asking them about it. You can try sharing something you recently learned, or an interest you’ve just developed, creating an opening for the other person to ask you a question. Or, you can describe a relatable problem you’re having—a noisy neighbour, a plant that’s not thriving, a question of etiquette—as a prompt for advice, or some cooperative troubleshooting.

One of Todd’s go-to approaches is to share a personal story of her own that relates to the other person’s experience. “If I find out someone has been to a place I’ve travelled, I’ll tell them an anecdote about what I did there, and ask them to share their own story.”

Of course, putting yourself out there can sometimes feel scary—even when you’re not on stage. But Misha Glouberman, who runs a course in Toronto called How to Talk to People About Things, says taking that leap pays off.  “A lot of the time in conversations, there’s something we’re interested in, but there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to take the risk of revealing it because we think it might be boring or inappropriate.” But the result of following those internal cues of fascination has the opposite effect, he says. “People like learning about other people’s interests. So be more open about yours, and a little more curious about theirs as well.”

Stumbling over your words? Here’s how to be more articulate.Read More Posts

7 Strategies to Build A Successful Career | RPI College
7 Strategies to Build A Successful Career | RPI College

Having a successful career will offer you a lot of benefits and real profitable opportunities. As we live in a world governed by social status and money, working your way up to the top will definitely improve your quality of life. There are many possible reasons for which an individual would desire success.

 

I guess one of the reasons is that maybe by being successful in your professional life makes you feel better among other people. It offers you a feeling of security and accomplishment. Many people who went from zero to a successful career have reported that their lives were improved in almost all the aspects.

There are certain habits and activities that successful people from all over the world do. The best way of approaching success is by following and figuring out what are the strategies that professionals use, and model them according to your needs.

The follwoing seven working strategies will give you enough boosts to improve your career.

 

1. Identify with Your Goals

Before even considering following a career route, you must get to know yourself. A big majority of people go through life by following a well-established pattern. The sad part is, they don't even like what they do or they just don't really realize how many other things they could do.

In order to avoid this awful happening, you need to identify what are your biggest rational wishes. Then, start going deeper and make an in-depth introspection in which you should think about the connection between your inner desires and your rational goals.

They have to match. Otherwise, you will not be truly fulfilled with your professional life. Identifying with your goals takes some time and effort, but it is a truly important process in any successful person's journey.

 

2. Build a Professional Resume

Your resume is basically your way of saying "I'm good at this, good at that, and I can help by doing this and that". Well, that is why you should create a professional, neat resume.

By taking care of this aspect, you are making sure that you'll never be caught off guard. Opportunities are everywhere, and you should always be ready with a quality resume. I believe that letting professionals deal with your resume is a productive choice.

There are some amazing services like Careers Booster or VisualCV that can take care of your problem. They can help you to create a classic or an impressive visual resume.Read More Posts

Language learning is fun for all, whatever your age! | RPI College
Language learning is fun for all, whatever your age! | RPI College

The main aim in studying a language is enjoyment. The adult class is mutually supportive; they get to know and accept each other well; and their confidence and language abilities improve.

Since I started to teach in the mid-70s, I have always liked taking adult language classes. The learners are there voluntarily; they are ‘ready to learn’; and they appreciate the magic of communicating with ‘the other’, a sign of respect for not only the language but the culture. And, of course, as our lives have become more global, many of the learners have in-laws or friends from other countries.  They realise that the next generation will be at least bi-lingual with the influence of the language of the country in which they live being uppermost.

Language is to be spoken, to be sung, to be listened to and enjoyed.  Language learning should be fun. And maybe it is because of the traditional way in which languages were taught, with often too great an emphasis on grammar and writing, that many older learners feel inadequate.  Now don’t get me wrong! I was taught in a fairly traditional way and I feel that there is a need for a mixture of communicative language and ‘discovering’ grammar to support the learners.

What works for me and the adult learner?

Going back to the solid training I had in teaching languages, I find that choral repetition is always a good start. It means that everyone can have a go without feeling exposed. The repetition allows for a review of vocabulary and language patterns and helps the sometimes tired brain to retain vocabulary.

Patterns of discovery

It is important for learners of whatever age to ‘discover’ grammatical patterns rather than to be given all the rules before they use the language.  A mixture of listening to the different sounds to find out, for example, the differences if we are talking about a male or a female, and of examining the written to see a pattern in the spelling lets the adult train the mind to look out for further patterns.

As soon as we start to learn a language we want to use different tenses, mainly to talk about the past. Many adults have not so fond memories of learning off by rote the paradigm of a long list of verbs and tenses, and once a rule was made there followed many exceptions. With adult learners it is useful to build up a store of useful verb constructions to which they attach the infinitives of verb phrases. In this way, they can easily talk about present, future and past.Read More Posts

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