Book Review: “Le défi des enfants bilingues”/“El desafío del bilingüismo” by Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer

Unfortunately, this great book has only been published in French and Spanish will hence only be accessible to my French and Spanish speaking followers.  But it is too much of a good read not to share it even if it is to a more limited audience!  I am no huge fan of books on bilingual education as I usually find them dry (apart from my favourite one, “Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability”) but I do force myself to keep informed on the topic.  This book was so interesting, I simply could not put it down!

What is talks about

In less than 200 pages, the author covers: 

  1. language mechanisms, 
  2. becoming bilingual, 
  3. early simultaneous bilingualism, 
  4. early sequential bilingualism, 
  5. late bilingualism, 
  6. the difficulties of being bilingual, and 
  7. bilingual parenting on a daily basis.

Abedlilah-Bauer covers scientific issues such as how speech is developed and stored in the brain but also sociological aspects, bilingual education in a monolingual society’s schooling system, parenting in multiple languages on a day-to-day basis.

What I loved about it

It is a synthetic but very well researched book that summarises the result of numerous research studies on bilingualism in a layman’s words. The author is a mum who raised her children trilingual and faced the same difficulties as many of us as well as the lack of information available at the time. It became her passion and she successfully embodies professional and parenting information in her book. 

I devoured it in barely 10 days and that was only through lack of time! 

Note that this book provides information on bilingualism itself. It does not provide practical tips nor language strategy advice. Hence do not count on it if you are after these.

What I did not enjoy

Nothing! 🙂 The only disappointment was probably the fact this great read is not available in English to share with as many people as possible in the bilingual parenting community! 😦

However, this book is available in  Spanish, titled “El desafío del bilingüismo”.

Need any more reviews? :

This book is available on Amazon and FNAC.

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