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Travel & languages! Becoming a fluent trilingual/triliterate


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Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 706
Joined: February 19th, 2006
Location: 3 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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Tags: family travel, languages, learning languages while traveling, kids travel and languages, long term family travel, long term travel, travel and language learning
  • Added on: January 14th, 2011
Hello from beautiful tropical Asia!

We are into our 5th year of non-stop world travel as a family ( 38 countries, 5 continents so far on 23 dollars a day per person) and one of the best things has been the amazing education my child has gotten along the way. She was 5 when we began and now is 10.

We are monolinguals raising a fluent like a native trilingual/triliterate ( Chinese/Spanish/English) from birth, ( no easy task) so love how wonderful travel has been for deep language and culture immersion to help us!

She is two weeks into her new high school in all Mandarin Chinese in Asia where she is the only Caucasian and youngest ( 1000 kids) and she loving it. I thought I would share this info with you ( has a short video with her talking in Chinese in her school uniform).

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/01/o ... .html#more[/url]

This is a video we did of her reading before bed in Spanish when she was 7 while we wintered in Spain in a small village ( where she went to the local school for 5 months for 4 winters) and we are still connected to those friends via Skype and will see again this summer.


She also speaks bits of many languages as we always learn some where ever we go and she is use to playing with kids in many different languages ( like when we were at a kids club in France this past summer).

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/08/c ... -tips.html[/url]

I share these because it's worked so well for us and wanted to offer them as examples for others who might be interested in the possibilities of adding deep language immersion to travel with their kids. Like music, it is so much easier to learn as a child, especially in an immersed way and we truly love the advantage of short ( but returning yearly until deeply mastered) periods in local foreign schools for cultural, language & social benefits.

It does take effort ( we had to go to several schools and skip our child several grades to make a Mandarin school work here) but well worth it from our perspective as I think immersing deeply in languages and cultures can benefit kids and families so much.

How has travel helped your kids with languages or what are your wishes in this area?

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.


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Lost in Place
Posts: 99
Joined: March 19th, 2006

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  • Added on: February 26th, 2011
Hi WT!

Just wanted to say congrats on raising such a fantastic kid! I showed Alexa and Simon the video of Mozart speaking Mandarin and they were very impressed. I think Simon still has a crush on Mozart since meeting her in Athens;) I can't believe it's already been 4 years since then! When we returned from our trip, we decided to move to Quebec so that our kids could be fluently bilingual in French and it has worked out beautifully. I can't imagine learning Mandarin, though!

I've enjoyed following your travels and my hat goes off to you and your family!

Carpe diem!

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