The sun is finally out, and we’re as excited to enjoy the nice weather as we are to share our most recent newsletter with you. In this issue, “Gaining and maintaining another language,” Bilingualism Matters celebrates language learning at various stages of life. If you’re in the mood for some outdoor reading while the weather is nice, Lindsey Chandler interviews David Pencek and colleagues at the Schlow Regional Library (that’s sch like in school) to learn more about the resources related to language learning at the library. David also tells us about the outreach activities that community members can take advantage of, like World Stories Alive, a multilingual story time that is regularly offered to children in State College and the surrounding area.
If your child has the opportunity to be exposed to more than one language at home, you might be concerned about what will happen to the home language (also known as the heritage language) when they start school and start speaking English more often. Nora Vosburg (a recent mother of a soon-to-be bilingual boy) and Mike Johns discuss language learning in situations like these, making important distinctions between heritage language learning and the kind of classroom-based foreign language learning that is common in high schools and colleges. They also present several resources for speakers of heritage languages in the State College area, so be sure to check them out over the coming months!
For those of you whose summer goal is to take steps toward mastering a new language, Manuel Pulido offers some tips for making the most of technology for language learning, including several smartphone apps that are great tools for you or your children to get some exposure to a new language. Whether you’re starting a new language or reinforcing an existing one, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about language learning. Amy Lebkuecher uses linguistic research to dispel some of the common myths about learning a second language as an adult. Spoiler alert: you can!
We hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon!
Warm regards in warmer months,
The Editors (Amy, Grant, Lena, Lindsey, Mike, Manuel, and Nora)