There is a near-infinite amount of information out there covering the vast topic of raising bilingual and multilingual children. Some reliable sources could come from academic research, but these are usually very difficult to understand for a normal non-academic person. Other sources could be the various organizations, both online and offline, dedicated to providing information on raising kids in more than one language. However, it is not easy to distinguish the true experts from the wannabes, often because real evidence, i.e., videos of kids speaking multiple languages fluently, are very rare. And of the few that we can find, these often feature kids filmed under artificial environments, e.g., film studios or controlled experimental settings, rather than in their normal living contexts speaking to other native speakers naturally.
That is why I have created my YouTube channel Multilingual Kids - AskTetsu, where you can find many videos in which I talk about key concepts and strategies in raising multilingual children, break down complex information found in academic literature, and, most importantly, show you real examples of my own children speaking the 5 languages that we are raising them in, namely, English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.
For instance, in the above video entitled “Just another day in 5 languages”, I show you various footage of our kids speaking different languages through various activities that took place on a typical Saturday. Several concepts and tools are discussed, including italki, an important tool that we use for our kids to strengthen their Mandarin. The COVID-19 pandemic was the trigger for us to use italki for the first time, as we were not able to make our annual trip to Taiwan this summer. But looking back at the results that we have obtained so far, we simply regret not having started much earlier. The ease for us to sign up on the platform and quickly assess and try out several teachers inexpensively allowed us to find the perfect match for our children. In the video, I show you some clips with this teacher, and I explain how we work with him to make sure that our kids are having fun and are engaged during their italki lessons. This engagement is what ensures that the method is effective and sustainable over time.
Again, italki is one important part of our overall strategy to raise our children in 5 languages, and if you are interested in learning about other practical tactics and ideas, head on over to my YouTube channel “Multilingual Kids - AskTetsu” for more videos like the one shown here!
Tetsu Yung grew up in multiple languages and speaks 5 of them fluently: English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. He is now raising his own 4 children in the same 5 languages, and shares his experience and knowledge on his YouTube Channel "Multilingual Kids - AskTetsu". He is the author of the ebook "Pampers to Polyglot: 7 Ideas for Raising Multilinguals Like Me", a co-organizer of LangFest, an international conference for language enthusiasts, and a co-host on Raising Multilinguals LIVE, a bi-weekly livestream show where we interview leading authorities in the realm of raising bilingual and multilingual children.