AFP S3E15 – Tetsu Yung: Raising Multilingual Children

Today I'm joined by Tetsu Yung on his birthday!! To talk about raising multilingual children and the new polyglot event: North American Polyglot Symposium.

Tetsu Yung

After two relatively business-heavy episodes it's great to get back into some pure language learning topics. I wanted to talk to Tetsu, because he specialises in how to raise children multilingually and is currently bringing his two children up with 5 languages.

It's a topic highly relevant to many people in the polyglot community demographic.

We also talk about the upcoming NAPS event in Montreal: The North American Polyglot Symposium.

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Show notes

  • How Tetsu grew up speaking multiple languages
  • How it felt as a multilingual child
  • How to pick what languages to teach your kids
  • What is OPOL and why is it important?
  • What mistakes can new parents make in this?
  • What is the best time to start teaching kids multiple languages?
  • Should more languages be taught at the same time?
  • The North American Polyglot Symposium in Montreal July 23-24
  • And much more!

Show resources

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Thanks to this weeks guest, Tetsu Yung

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  • Israel Lai

    He’d be shocked to hear certain parents in HK are starting to raise their children in their second and third languages – just anything but Cantonese 😮
    I’m absolutely jealous of this guy and his kids! Wish him a happy birthday too and them all the best 🙂 I’d sooo want to be in Montreal sometime too!

    • Ouch! This even hurt me! Why are they distancing themselves so much from Cantonese?

      • Israel Lai

        because it’s minority/dialect/non-standard, blah blah blah, and it’s much superior to speak english and/or mandarin. heck even I felt this when I was small: the one mandarin class was always the one with the best students. I mean no offence but even in the podcast, Tetsu is quite vague about the status of hakka and taiwanese – I think by now it should have been made clear to everyone…

  • dandiprat

    I didn’t know that there would be a Polyglot Conference in Montreal this summer. I love the idea of an annual conference in North America. I hope I can go.

    • Hope to meet you there! Be careful with the terminology though, although this is technically a conference for polyglots the “Polyglot Conference” name is used for Richard Simcott and Alex Rawling’s conference which is in Thessaloniki, Greece this year. This one is called the North American Polyglot Symposium 🙂

      • dandiprat

        I stand corrected. I hope to make it to the North American Polyglot Symposium this summer and meet many other polyglots. And thank you for the podcast on this topic and introducing me to the guest. I’m having a baby soon with my polyglot wife (Vietnamese, Cantonese, English, and Mandarin) and my bilingual in-laws (Vietnamese and Cantonese) have just moved in and I often have to speak four languages each day at home. I’ve been thinking about what languages my son will grow up speaking.

        • Great job! And hope to meet you in Montreal for sure 🙂

      • Israel Lai

        just to make the abbreviation look pronounceable – NAPS as opposed to NAPC I supposed?

        • Sure. But also the Polyglot Conference is sort of a brand name used by other people, you can’t just copy it without their permission.

  • Bea

    I’ve always thought that raising kids in a multilingual and multicultural environment was so awesome! Even just two languages sounds good to me, but five…wow!
    At some point you mentioned something which I had already wondered, which is the fact that maybe being surrounded by so many languages would confuse them at some point, but seems it doesn’t…that’s even more interesting.
    Congratulations again for a very interesting podcast! 🙂

    • Thanks Bea, appreciate your comment very much 🙂