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Sep 19, 2003 Issue

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                                      ~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

                           "Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid" 

        Volume #1 Issue #23   ISSN: 0219-7642   Sep 19, 2003

                   Andrew Loh, Publisher, andrew@brainy-child.com

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because you requested a subscription. 

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T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S : 
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(1) ~ EDITORIAL ~ 
(2) ~ ARTICLES - 
         * The impact of bilingualism on overall language  development and academic success *
         * 8 Gifts of Parenting *
(3) ~ BRAINY PRODUCT ~
(4) ~ LATEST BRAINY NEWS ~
(5) ~ WHAT'S IN THE NEXT ISSUE ~
(6) ~ CONTACT US - Contact and Subscriber Information ~

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E D I T O R I A L - W e l c o m e !
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Hi Everyone,

I hope your week is going well. For those of you that stay in the path of the hurricane Isabel they've been talking about all over the news... stay safe!

BTW, some of you probably noticed that I've changed the format of 
BrainyZine in the last issue where only part of the article was shown. 
You'll have to link to my website in order to read the full article. Why did I do that?

You know Brainy-Child relies on subscribers like you to purchase the recommended products or click on the advertisements to foot the bill.....hint, hint!

Don't worry, I'm NOT asking you to buy anything....8-). You make the decision to purchase only if you really find the products that I recommended are useful. However, I have just ONE request that doesn't cost you anything but helps Brainy-Child at the same time. Here is the deal, when you link to my website to read the complete article, you'll find the ‘Ads by Google' at the right column. I just request you to click only ONE sponsor that you may find interesting (if you don't find the ads attracts you, don't click). That's all I request from you. Let the sponsors 'sponsor' Brainy-Child. This will continue to keep Brainy-Child self-funded. For your great effort, I thank you in advance.

Without further ado, let's get straight to the good stuff...

Take care!

Andrew Loh
Publisher/Editor of the BrainyZine
andrew @ brainy-child.com

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 ~ The Impact of Bilingualism on Overall Language Development and Academic Success ~

Parents frequently have questions about how second language learning affects reading ability, social skills, and scholastic achievement. Research suggests that children who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not. Studies have shown that bilinguals outperform similar monolingual peers on both verbal and nonverbal tests of intelligence and tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests. Additionally, individuals who speak more than one language have the ability to communicate with more people, read more literature, and benefit more fully from travel abroad. Knowing a second language also gives people a competitive advantage in the workforce.

Critical Period to Learn New Language

Many linguists believe there is a 'critical period' (lasting roughly from birth until puberty) during which a child can easily acquire any language that he or she is regularly exposed to. Under this view, the structure of the brain changes at puberty, and after that it becomes harder to learn a new language. This means that it is much easier to learn a second language during childhood than as an adult. Apart from the above, children do tend to develop more native-like pronunciation when bilingualism begins before adolescence.

Types of Childhood Bilingualism

Two types of childhood bilingualism have been defined. The first is simultaneous learning of two languages. It normally happens when the language used at home is different from language used in the community or school. The parents, caregivers or other family members might not speak the language of the school or the community, or the parents could speak two or more languages but have made a decision about which language they speak with the child.

The second type of childhood bilingualism is called sequential or successive bilingualism. This happens when a child has one established language before learning a second language, whether in preschool or later (the age of three usually separates simultaneous and sequential language learning). Some children and adults, of course, usually learn a second language formally through school or language classes.

You Need a 'Language Plan'

Bilingualism really isn't something that simply happens. Raising children to be successful in more than one language requires some careful planning and learning about bilingual language development. Success appears to depend on whether a "language plan" has been worked out in advance. Families who take the time to consider how their children will develop two languages, and who make the necessary commitments to bilingual language development, tend to be more successful in raising bilingual children.

Before you start the bilingual program, it's a good idea to clarify your own definition of bilingualism. Language proficiency can be evaluated in terms of listening, speaking, reading and writing. A person may speak only one language but have listening comprehension in two languages. Another may listen and speak in two languages but reading and writing ability in only one.

When kids are learning two languages at the same time parents need to work out language strategies that emphasize boundaries between the languages. For example:

  • One parent, one language. Each parent consistently speaks one language while the other parent speaks another language (usually each on speaking his or her native language to the child and possibly the common language to each other).


  • Both parents speak one language in the home and a second language is used at school.


  • One language is used in the home and at school and the second language is used in the community.


  • Both parents speak both languages to the child but separate the languages according to speaking situations or alternate days.


Recommendations for parents

Here are a few basic points that are important in raising children with more than one language.

  • Provide the right environment. Do what comes naturally to you and your family in terms of which language(s) you use when, but make sure your children hear both (or all three or four) languages frequently and in a variety of circumstances. Create opportunities for your children to use all of the languages they hear. Be good listeners and good language models by introducing rich vocabulary and varied conversations. Providing books, music, and even videos in both language is also important.


  • Talk to all your children in the same way, not for instance, using one language with the elder and another language with the younger. Language is tied to emotions, and if you address your children in different languages, some of your children may feel excluded, which in turn might adversely affect their behavior.


  • Avoid abrupt changes in how you talk to your children, especially when they are under six. Don't suddenly decide to speak French to them if you have only been using English. In this respect, beware of "experts" (e.g., doctors, teachers) who tell you to stop speaking a particular language to your child.


  • Children should not be forced into bilingualism if it really does make them unhappy. If you feel strongly about your children using one particular language with you, encourage them to use it in all of their communication with you. Try to discourage their use of another language with you by asking them to repeat what they said in the preferred language or by gently offering them the appropriate words in the language you want them to use.


  • Be consistent with the pattern you choose, stick to it. Although children can learn two languages in what seems like chaos, a reasonable amount of consistency will make their job, and yours, simpler. Once children learn the pattern they are often disturbed when a parent breaks it.


  • The more you can make bilingualism seem like a natural and unremarkable part of family life, the more likely it is that the children will grow up to enjoy being bilingual, and the more likely it is that you will succeed in keeping both languages active in your home. Do not make language an issue, and do not rebuke or punish children for using or not using a particular language.


  • Do not mix the languages. If you mix languages in the same conversation, young kids experience difficulty separating vocabulary and grammar into the appropriate language. The child may learn the "mixed" language as one hybrid language.


  • Be aware of individual difference among children. Each child learns language at his or her own speed. This is related to a variety of factors, such as length of time the family remains in the community that used the second language, relationships with the family member who speaks the second language, and attitudes toward each language expressed by the parents, school, community and especially the child. Both languages must be given importance and a sense of worth in all aspects of the child's life.
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There are speech therapists and medical doctors who claim that using two languages at young age causes language delay and language disorder. The common reason for this claim is twofold. First, they claim that hearing two or more languages will confuse the child and lead to grave problems in acquiring language. Second, it is claimed that the acquisition of the main language of the environment will stand a better chance without competition from the other language. However, there is no scientific evidence to date that using two or more languages leads to delays or disorders in language acquisition. Many children throughout the world grow up with two or more languages from infancy without showing any signs of language delays or disorders. These children provide visible proof that there is no causal relationship between a bilingual environment and language learning problems. In addition, there is no scientific evidence that giving up one language automatically has a beneficial effect on the other.

 

~ Eight Gifts of Parenting ~
by Lawrence Girard

No one who has hugged their child can doubt the gift of a child's presence in their life. The love that is expressed in that simple act is one of the most profound ways that we experience love in this world. In order to nurture the special relationship of parent and child, and fulfill our roles as parents, there are number of things that we are signing up to do. Here is a list of eight essential ways to fulfill our parental
responsibilities.

These are gifts that we should freely give to our children without thought of what we will receive in return for our efforts.

The Gift of Life
It is easy to forget that in the act of receiving a child into our lives we are sharing the gift of life itself. Remembering the precious nature of life can help us to keep the ups and downs of daily life in a proper perspective.

The Gift of Love
The most essential ingredient for a happy life is love. There is no feeling more satisfying to the soul, both in giving and receiving, then love. When we include a conscious awareness of this truth and nurture it as the most basic value of our relationship with our children, we will find that many mistakes – on both sides – can be weathered.

The Gift of Time
Time is the proof of our caring. When you spend time with your child you are saying with your actions: I love you and I would rather be with you than doing anything else. This is one of the best ways that you can objectify your love. It is also one of the greatest blessings.

The Gift of Good Manners
Children from a young age can be taught to behave. This isn't an imposition on their free will. It is a gift that will enhance their lives. The process of developing good manners will help them to begin learning to see how others are affected by their actions. Through the establishment of basic good manners we are giving our children a skill that will benefit them in every other part of life.

The Gift of Self-Control
Through the establishment of good manners from the very beginning we are planting the seeds of a character trait that can serve as a strong support for success in any endeavor: Self-Control. Practice cultivating self-control in your own self first. Then attune yourself to ways that you can instill these same values in your children.

The Gift of Positive Mental Culture
By bringing the principles of positive thinking into all areas of life we develop in our children the experience that all good things are possible.
Positive mental culture includes ten overarching areas of development: Non-Violence, Non-Lying, Non-Greed, Non-Sensuality, Non-Covetousness, Cleanliness, Contentment, Self-Control, Self-Study, and Devotion to God.

The Gift of Education
An academic education isn't essential for living successfully in this world. There have been numbers of great people throughout history who couldn't read or write. But next to those great souls who can shine in spite of this lack of formal training, there are millions who could advance their lives immensely if they could but read and write. It isn't enough that we simply send our children to school. This is a gift that opens
up a world of information and possibilities for our children. Don't leave this area to chance.

The Gift of Reverence for All Life
Along with these most basic gifts we need to add a reverence for the sanctity of all life. While we can't make our children believe in God or appreciate the beauty and value of the incredible variety of life forms that inhabit our planet, we can communicate our own belief. Not to
share your view on these issues is to - by default - preach that they have no value. The communication and application of the highest aspects of life should always be at the forefront of family life.

Given the mixture of things that we want to share with our children we will need to mix and match according to how the soup is cooking. This is one of the beauties of life – its variety and spontaneity. It will, no doubt, turn out different than what we had anticipated in the beginning. If we give our children these eight gifts we will be well on our way to fulfilling our duties as parents and sharing with them the tools that will allow them to experience the best that life has to offer.



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Lawrence Vijay Girard is the author of Way of the Positive Flow and Positive Flow Parenting. He has taught a wide variety of classes in the integration of spiritual truths with the challenges of daily life. Your children will love his book: The Adventures of Harry Fruitgarden

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~ The Ultimate Resource for Using Food, Vitamins, Herbs and Other Natural Methods to Make Your Children the Healthiest They Can Be ~

* By Mark Stengler, Angela Stengler 
* Average Customer Rating: 5 Stars
* Buy new: $15.75

This book shows parents how to use natural medicine for their children, both as preventative medicine to keep children healthy and as a resource to help the body heal itself. It covers the many aspects of natural medicine, from vitamins and minerals to homeopathy, and many health conditions such as acne, colic, dry skin, and tonsillitis. Nothing matters more to parents than their children's health, and this is a reference every parent will turn to again and again. 

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~ Accelerated learning - Learn faster, remember more ~
by Lorna Smith

Accelerated learning, also known as ‘super-learning' or ‘brain-friendly 
learning', is a system designed to help people of all ages learn more and retain more by using the whole of the brain. This article looks at the principles behind accelerated learning and suggests some ways you can make it work at home. 



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Well, it's that time again when I have ran out of ideas on what to 
publish...;-). Now would be a really good time to send your feedback 
on the variety of topics that you seem to enjoy. You just suggest and 
I'll take care the rest.

If you would like to review our past issues, click here:
http://www.brainy-child.com/newsletter.shtml
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