Annick De Houwer is Professor Emerita of Language Acquisition and Multilingualism at the University of Erfurt, Germany. Previously, she held professorships in Language Learning and Language Teaching (also at the University of Erfurt) and in Communication Science (at the University of Antwerp, Belgium). She is the President of the International Association for the Study of Child Language, IASCL.
Already as a doctoral student, when she was working on purely linguistic aspects of bilingual development, Annick heard from parents of bilingually raised children who felt miserable because their young child did not speak their language. From early on in her post-doctoral career Dr. De Houwer attempted to understand why some children raised with two or more languages only spoke a single language (here is a review of what we know about that now). While continuing her more linguistically oriented research, she expanded her work to include the more socio-emotional aspects of early bilingualism. In 2006, she launched the concept of harmonious bilingual development (HBD) in a French journal. Publications on HBD in English soon followed (here is the best known). Ever since she developed expertise in the field, Dr. De Houwer has been committed to bringing research based insights on early bilingualism to the general public through talks, publications and web-based materials (you can see some early videos with her through the HaBilNet YouTube channel.)
Dr. De Houwer has lived in 6 countries on 4 continents, with a total of 5 societal languages. She regrets not having had the chance to learn one of them (Urdu; click here for an account of her language learning). The others are the current languages of the HaBilNet website, hopefully with more to follow. Annick grew up in a monolingual family, was part of a bilingual family, and adores her trilingual grandchild.
Check out Dr. De Houwer's full CV here and see this link to find out more about her work.
Hilde De Smedt is a speech therapist who for 35 years has been working in the center for integration Foyer in Brussels, Belgium. In all those years multilingual education and multilingual child rearing has been a central theme.
In the beginning Foyer's aim was to integrate minority languages into education (click here for relevant publications). Hilde De Smedt was partly responsible for the coordination of these projects. The basic idea was that the languages that come to us through migration are an added value for the children involved but also for our society. Every year 500 children attended this form of multilingual education as proposed by Foyer. The results were positive and led to improved educational trajectories for children with a migration background. In 2011, however, the Ministry of Education of the Flemish Community canceled support for these projects.
Foyer then chose to focus even more on strengthening multilingual families and supporting their multilingual approach. Today, families are often not concerned with bilingualism in the narrow sense (two languages), but there are several languages involved that have a functional, emotional and/or cultural meaning. Currently Hilde De Smedt leads the Advice Center for Multilingual Education (PIM, Partners in Multilingualism). Professionals like speech therapists and educators can get advice from us, parents can come and talk to us, and children with language difficulties are very welcome as well. We try to find the right approach to help them, with full attention to all the languages that play a role in their lives.
Recently, Hilde De Smedt gave an interview on her work (in Dutch). You can watch it here. The video also features some school-aged children who talk about their multilingualism. You can download a list of Hilde De Smedt's recent publications here. In this Dutch article Hilde writes about her 35 years of experience at Foyer.
Jürgen M. Meisel
Dr. Jürgen M. Meisel is Professor emeritus at the Institute for Romance Studies of the University of Hamburg in Germany and Adjunct Professor at the Division of Linguistics of the University of Calgary in Canada. His main research topics have been first and second language acquisition, language change, Creole studies, multilingualism, the grammar of Romance languages and grammatical theory. He has played a pioneering role in the establishment of both the field of naturalistic second language acquisition by adults and the field of early bilingual acquisition.
Dr. Ortega was born, raised, and college-educated in southern Spain, spent a year at the University of Munich in the early 1980s, worked for almost a decade as a teacher of Spanish in Greece, and obtained her doctorate in the United States, the country where she has lived for over 25 years. These choices have afforded her a different dominant language at different periods in her life so far: Spanish, German, Modern Greek, and English. Her trajectory has shaped her professional identities as an educator and a researcher. Lourdes is committed to investigating what it means to become bilingual or multilingual later in life, across both elite and marginalized contexts for language learning, including in higher education settings. In her work she seeks to encourage connections between research and teaching and to support harmonious bilingualism and the well-being of all multilinguals.
Check out Dr. Ortega's full CV here and see this link to find out more about her.
Adam Winsler is a Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University, USA. He has investigated children's transition to school, the development of self-regulation and private speech, Vygotskian sociocultural theory and bilingualism and early schooling for English-Language Learners. Amongst others, his current research explores childcare, school readiness, and school trajectories among ethnically and linguistically diverse, immigrant, low-income, urban preschoolers using data from the large-scale (n > 30,000) longitudinal Miami School Readiness Project.
Dr. Winsler has shown that social and behavioral skills and proficiency in Spanish are valuable resources for low-income English language learners during their transition to school and has collaborated on a foundational co-authored article on how to measure and report on bilingualism in developmental research.
Check out Dr. Winsler's full CV here and see this link to find out more about him.
HaBilNet's active members are actively engaged in the work of HaBilNet, through their academic work and/or through their outreach and consulting services. Without them, HaBilNet would not be able to reach its goals.
Adam is the founder of the influential blog Bilingual Monkeys and the lively forum The Bilingual Zoo. Along with his books and his online writing, he provides empowering support to bilingual and multilingual families through personal coaching, online and off, and through speaking appearances at conferences and workshops worldwide.
An educator for over 30 years, Adam has worked with hundreds of bilingual and multilingual children as a classroom teacher and private tutor. Originally from the United States, he has lived in Hiroshima, Japan since 1996 and is raising two trilingual children in Japanese, English, and Spanish. He attended college in New York, graduate school in San Francisco, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Czech Republic, where he taught English at the University of West Bohemia in the city of Plzen.
Adam also has a background in theater arts and worked for many years in children's theater as a director and playwright. He is the author of the award-winning humorous novel for children and adults titled How I Lost My Ear (illustrated by Simon Farrow), which critics have called "an extraordinary imaginative achievement" and compared to "the best of Roald Dahl."
Amelia Lambelet is a post-doctoral researcher in applied linguistics/second language acquisition. After receiving her PhD from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, she worked as a research manager at the Research Center on Multilingualism there from 2011 to 2017. In this position, she co-directed several research projects on bilingual language development and published extensively on various aspects of individual differences and language learning/teaching.
More recently, she has focused on recent immigrant communities in a project tapping the effect of age, executive functions, and aptitude on language development (2017-2020). This strand of research has made her acutely aware of the challenges many people face in their everyday lives. It has encouraged her to become more actively involved in the community to help develop language proficiency in members of underserved populations and minorities.
Amelia is also very committed to popularizing research results and bridging the gap between research and society, as shown by her work as managing editor of Babylonia Journal of Language Education and as Media Coordinator for HaBilNet.
Nina Schwöbel has wanted to know all about language ever since she started talking. She studied English and Linguistics (B.A) at Jena's Friedrich-Schiller-University in Germany. During her studies she went abroad to live and study in Wales with the Erasmus program. Impressed by Wales' every day bilingualism, she did an internship at a bilingual day care center when she returned. Soon after, she started working at an English immersion project offering holiday camps for children and teenagers. She studied to become a German as a foreign language teacher and decided to add a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics at Erfurt University in Germany.
From 2021 onwards, her teaching has focused on language courses for illiterate people. Teaching the very basics of (Roman) letters and sounds is fascinating, she finds, and quite the contrast to the English immersion holiday camps where functional communication and everyday activities are key.
After finishing her MA studies in 2018 with a focus on bilingualism and a thesis as part of Dr. Annick De Houwer's research project ToddleTalk, Nina started working for HaBilNet as a freelancer. Aside from editing and translating contents, she is also engaged in content creation and website postings. You can find her CV here.
Ekaterina Tiulkova is passionate about languages and their teaching. She is originally from Tyumen (Siberia, Russia), where she discovered linguistics and French. She came to France in 2015 to train as a teacher of French as a foreign language and to carry out research on French-Russian bilingual children. She is currently a doctoral student in Language Sciences at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès in the Laboratory of Neuro- and Psycholinguistics (EA 4156) in France under the supervision of Professors Barbara Köpke and Vanda Marijanović.
The original titel of her dissertation is „L'impact de l'input dans le développement harmonieux du bilinguisme précoce franco-russe" (The impact of input in the harmonious development of early Franco-Russian bilingualism). Its goal is to study the conditions supporting the positive development of several languages within a bilingual and bicultural family context, with a main focus on well-being. In 2020, this doctoral project highlighting harmonious bilingual development obtained financial support from HaBilNet.
In addition, Ekaterina Tiulkova is a lecturer at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès where she works in the Departments of Language Sciences (linguistics and didactics of L2) and Foreign Languages (Russian). She is also the founder and president of the Toulouse student Association des Russophones et Russophiles (ARR).
Ms. Tiulkova helps HaBilNet shape texts in French and helps find relevant materials in French. You can find her CV here.
HaBilNet's supporting members are scholars and other professionals who have contributed to the creation and/or dissemination of knowledge as regards Harmonious Bilingualism.
Xavier Aparicio is a Lecturer at the University of Paris-Est Créteil, in the Human and Artificial Cognitions laboratory (CHArt, UR 4004).
His research focuses on visual word recognition as well as on reading comprehension in bilinguals and monolinguals, integrating behavioral, electrophysiological and oculomotor data. His current research additionally focuses on the constraints and difficulties of acquiring a second language in the school context by students with an immigrant background. His work has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Multilingualism and Frontiers in Psychology.
Xavier Aparicio grew up in France and has always lived there. He has always had an openness towards different languages. He uses French and English on a daily basis in his professional life, and the Spanish from his origins on other occasions. His research aims to better understand how languages are acquired and used both by children and adults, and how language impacts cognitive functioning, in particular in terms of cognitive control and the efficiency of executive functions. As part of the training provided at the institute Inspé of the Academy of Créteil, Aparicio aims to raise the awareness of future teachers and teachers both in initial and continuing education about the importance of languages and their specific characteristics for language learning. Furthermore, he aims to raise awareness of the importance of taking into consideration all the languages children bring to the classroom so that harmonious bilingualism may be promoted.
Check out Dr. Aparicio's CV and find out more about his work here and here.
Dr. Melissa Baralt is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida, United States. Baralt is an applied psycholinguist whose work cuts across the humanities, social sciences, and medical sciences. Specializing in first and second language acquisition, language development in children, and language teaching, her research seeks to shed light on the sociocultural, cognitive, and environmental factors that lead to successful language outcomes. Dr. Baralt has published research on psycholinguistics, online language learning, language teaching, bilingualism and prematurity, heritage language learners, and minority student experiences in second language classrooms.
Prior to coming to FIU, Baralt was a primary school teacher in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Now at FIU, she aims to advance knowledge on how the brain acquires language and what teachers, caregivers, and parents can do to maximize the language learning process. At present, her funded research follows two strands.
The first seeks to provide language-based support for at-risk Latinx children in order to maximize their language and literacy outcomes. More specifically, Dr. Baralt is examining the effects of bilingualism on preterm-born children, the neural recruitment of executive function in children, and how to support at-risk children's early language environments. She and her team have created a free mobile app, Háblame Bebé, which delivers information about and support for Latinx children's bilingual language development. This app was funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Dr. Baralt and her team have recently received a G08 grant from the National Library of Medicine (NIH) to enhance the Háblame Bebé app with additional support resources for bilingual families.
Dr. Baralt's second strand of research is about how to best support language teachers as well as minority language learners, with a special focus on the needs of African American and Black Diaspora learners in second language classroom contexts. She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that supports a collaboration between FIU and Florida Memorial University (a historically black college in Miami) to improve modern language curricula and teacher-training with an aim of improving Spanish language courses for African American and Black diaspora students, who remain underrepresented in foreign language programs.
Baralt is a U.S. 'military brat' who moved extensively as a child due to her father's job in the United States army. Before moving to Venezuela, she lived in Georgia, Kansas, Italy, South Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Virginia, Washington D.C., Perú and Spain. Dr. Baralt is multilingual.
Check out Dr. Baralt's CV here and see this link to find out more about her work.
Dr. Solveig Chilla is Professor of Speech and Language Education at the Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany. In Flensburg leitet Frau Prof. Dr. Chilla die Abteilung für Pädagogik bei Beeinträchtigung von Sprache und Kommunikation. She received her training at the University of Hamburg and wrote her dissertation at the Research Center on Multilingualism there in the framework of a project on "Specific language impairment and early second language acquisition: Differentiating deviations in morphosyntactic acquisition" (2003-2008). After a postdoc at the University of Bremen she held professorial positions in Erfurt and Heidelberg.
Dr. Chilla's research interests include multilingualism, diversity and inclusive language teaching, developmental language disorders and multimodal acquisition. Her recent work on the acquisition of Arabic and German in young refugees from Syria shows, amongst others, that acquiring a new language, even in middle childhood, takes time. Teachers should take this into account more than they do.
Dr. Chilla has lived in different regions of Germany and has worked in Sweden and Norway. She leads a multilingual life. Her languages are German, English, Swedish, and some Plattdeutsch, Sign Languages, French, and Turkish.
Inga Hilbig is an Assistant Professor at the University of Vilnius, Department of Lithuanian Studies. She was trained as a Lithuanian linguist during her BA and MA years, did her PhD in cross-cultural pragmatics (linguistic politeness) and works in the field of applied linguistics. Her major research interests are the sociolinguistics of early bilingualism, family language policy, minority/heritage language maintenance, Harmonious Bilingualism and families' well-being. She has been involved in several national and international scientific projects (sociolinguistic and interdisciplinary) such as MOTHERNET; click here to see what she does in it.
Inga Hilbig firmly believes in a mission of researchers on bilingualism to widely and actively disseminate scientific findings, dispel myths around bilingualism, and offer encouragement and concrete tips for parents, so that they can make informed decisions about their children's languages and feel confident in what they do (or opt out of doing!). That's why she places lots of significance on her practical work with Sunday school communities in Lithuanian diaspora. Those activities and their direct positive impact and benefits for the well-being of parents and children are an inspiration for her academic work.
Inga grew up and lives in Lithuania. She is married to a German and has two bilingual sons. The family spent two years in Germany together. Inga is fascinated by other cultures and languages. She is in daily contact with people of various cultural and linguistic backgrounds through teaching Lithuanian language and socio-culture to foreigners and in her private life. Apart from her native Lithuanian, Inga speaks English, German and Russian.
Check out Inga Hilbig's CV and follow this link to find out more about her.
A message from Inga in LithuanianAš Inga Hilbig, dirbu Vilniaus universitete. Domiuosi vaikų dvikalbyste, šeimų kalbų politika ir vadyba, harmoningąja dvikalbyste. Esu ištekėjusi už vokiečio, auginame du dvikalbius sūnus. Be gimtosios lietuvių, moku anglų, vokiečių ir rusų kalbas.
A message from Inga in RussianЯ – Инга Хилбиг, работаю в Вильнюсском университете. Интересуюсь двуязычием у детей, языковой политикой и руководством в семьях, гармоничным двуязычием. Состою в браке с немцем, мы растим двоих двуязычных сыновей. Владею литовским, английским, немецким и русским языками.
Dr. Köpke grew up in Germany and has been living in France for the past 35 years, where she uses French and English for her work and German as well as a little Spanish on other occasions. Her research has mostly focused on the dynamics of bilingualism over life and the cognitive specificities caused by the daily use of several languages. She seeks to draw attention to the specificities of bilingual or multilingual speakers, both healthy and disordered, in order to support harmonious bilingualism.
Dr. Nakamura grew up multilingually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and increased her linguistic repertoire of English, Hakka, Cantonese, Mandarin and Malay to Japanese when she moved to Japan in 2002. Dr. Nakamura tries to uncover linguistic and non-linguistic barriers to family bilingualism by investigating parent-child interaction and family language policy. She draws attention to the importance of fostering bilingualism in the home through her research on receptive child bilingualism and monolingual mixed-ethnic children's lost opportunity for minority language acquisition.
Check out Dr. Nakamura's CV here and see this link to find out more about her work.
A message from Janice in Japanese神奈川大学外国学部の准教授中村ジェニスです。出身国はマレーシアです。多言語的・多文化的な環境で育てられた私は2002年に来日し、日本語を第4言語として身に付けました。自分の子どもも含めて、100人以上の子どものバイリンガリズムとバイリテラシを研究してきました。
Dr. Meagan Driver is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies of the Second Language Studies Program at Michigan State University in the United States.Dr. Driver says: "My time as an inner-city public school science teacher in NYC sparked my interest in issues of language and accessibility. Now, as an applied linguist with research interests in heritage language education, multilingualism, and affect, I find it essential to share my work with the communities and educators that make my research possible, particularly beyond academia. I look forward to seeing the connections that are born through HaBilNet's lead!"
Dr. Andrew Fogarty is a Teaching Fellow at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. He graduated from Queens University, Belfast, with an Ed.D in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).Andy says: "I have three children that are growing up to be bilingual in Northern Ireland. They speak English and Korean every day. However, as the only person in the house who speaks Korean to them is their mother, their Korean language competence is presently lower than their English.
The scenario of raising bilingual children with limited language support in a monolingual society is the driving force behind my studies into Harmonious Bilingual Development. I want to help culturally, and linguistically diverse (CALD) people to successfully raise their children to be bilingual whilst preserving their minority home language. My doctoral research focused on language attrition and revival of minority home languages.
It's an honor to be a member of HaBilNet and to meet other experts in the field of children's bilingualism who actively promote harmonious bilingual development in the wider community."
A message from Andy in Korean저는 이중 언어 환경에서 세 아이를 기르고 있습니다. 제 아이들은 일상생활 속에서 영어와 한국어를 함께 사용합니다. 하지만 아이들에게 한국어로 말하는 사람은 제 한국인 아내 한 사람 밖에 없기 때문에 아이들의 한국어가 영어만큼 유창하지는 못합니다.영어 이외의 타언어에 대한 지원이 거의 부재한 단일언어 환경 속에서 어떻게 자녀들이 자유롭게 이중 언어를 구사하도록 기를 수 있을까 하는 고민이 조화로운 이중언어 발달에 대한 제 연구의 계기가 되었습니다. 교육학박사 안드루 포가티
Dr. Sviatlana Karpava is a lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Department of English Studies, University of Cyprus and Coordinator of its Testing, Teaching and Translation Lab.Dr. Karpava says: "My areas of research are bilingualism, heritage language use, maintenance and transmission, and family language policy. It is a great opportunity for me to be connected with HaBilNet in terms of research and collaboration."
Dr. Karpava's research focuses, amongst others, on Russian as a heritage language. Check out her profile here.
A message from Sviatlana in RussianСветлана Карпова — преподаватель прикладной лингвистики на факультете изучения английского языка Кипрского университета и координатор его лаборатории тестирования, обучения и перевода.Исследования доктора Карпавы сосредоточены, среди прочего, на русском языке как языке наследия. Проверьте ее профиль здесь.
A message from Sviatlana in GreekΗ Δρ Σβιατλάνα Καρπάβα είναι λέκτορας Εφαρμοσμένης Γλωσσολογίας στο Τμήμα Αγγλικών Σπουδών του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου και Συντονίστρια του Εργαστηρίου Δοκιμών, Διδασκαλίας και Μετάφρασης.Η έρευνα της Δρ Καρπάβα επικεντρώνεται, μεταξύ άλλων, στα ρωσικά ως γλώσσα κληρονομιάς. Δείτε το προφίλ της εδώ.
Dr. Hakyoon Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages at Georgia State University in the United States.Dr. Lee says: "As a Korean program director at Georgia State University, I have met many Korean learners with diverse backgrounds who are (re)learning their heritage language in college. I have also been working with Korean immigrant families and investigating their family language policy. As a mom who is raising a child in a bilingual environment, I am very curious about bilingualism and family support. I am excited to learn more about other researchers' work and community projects and share my research through HaBilNet!"
Dr. Lee's research interests encompass heritage language learning and use, and family language policy. Check out her profile here.
Dr. Vanda Marijanovic is a lecturer in Language Sciences at the University of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès in France.Dr. Marijanovic says: "I was born in Croatia and grew up as a monolingual. However, at the age of 10 I discovered the fabulous world of foreign languages and cultures (French, English, Italian, German, Portuguese, and more). They are now omnipresent in all aspects of my life – whether in my role of individual, mother, or teacher-researcher. I live in Toulouse, France, where I support and am engaged in didactic approaches that implement teaching and learning activities involving several linguistic and cultural varieties, such as in teacher training and in the "Skolica Toulouse", an association for Franco-Croatian children. HaBilNet's values and aspirations are mine as well!"
Dr. Yoko Motani is an education consultant and teacher at the Port of Sacramento Japanese School in the United States. She is also the founder of Fun with ABCs, Aiueo, and Beyond, (FaaB) and co-founder of the Japanese Educational Information Network of America (JEINA).Yoko Motani says: "As a multicultural/global education researcher turned into an education consultant and bilingual parenting advocate while raising her three bilingual children, I am very excited to join HaBilNet and be connected to experts of bilingual children's development around the world. I would love to work together to help everyone who is caring for bilingual children to gain access to the right information and support they need at the right time."
A message from Yoko in Japanese藻谷 容子氏は翻訳・調査・研究業に従事しながら3人の子供をバイリンガルに育て、現在は米カリフォルニア州サクラメントの補習授業校の講師・相談室長で教育コンサルタント。「縁あって世界各地でバイリンガル児の発達支援に関わっているHaBilNetに参加することになり、今後メンバーのみなさんとHaBilNetの活動に参加することを楽しみにしています。バイリンガル・海外での子育てを支援するウェブサイトや、バイリンガル子育てのパンフレットもご覧ください。よろしくお願いいたします。」
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