Biography

Here’s what I hope to accomplish – I would like this blog to be a place for you to ask your questions on anything related to bilingualism and on raising bilingual children – and I will try to find the answers.  I’m a research junkie and I’m here for you! I’ve just written my first book titled Bilingual By Choice: Raising Kids in Two (or more!) Languages, published by Nicholas Brealey Publishing. The book offers insights, resources, and 100 activities for families to do at home and in the community. I also review the research (both U.S.-based and international) and I discuss my personal experience as a “late” bilingual. (I relocated to the US when I was 12 years old.)

I know everyone is really busy, so this blog is an easy way for you to find out research findings to either back up your choices, or simply help you make better decisions in how you raise your bilingual children. I will also be sharing how Natasha and Sofiya are doing, and add helpful insights from parents who’ve succeeded in raising happy bilingual children. I’m passionate about finding creative ways to keep our children bilingual – (so if I screw up anything else in their upbringing, at least I’ll have that to hold on to!) As NABE’s slogan aptly states: No Bilingual Child Left Behind!

BIOGRAPHY

I was born and raised in France, educated in the U.S., Canada, and Russia, and I now live in New Hampshire. I’m the author of Bilingual By Choice: Raising Kids in Two (or more!) Languages, published in 2009 by Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

As an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, I studied French and Russian literature, history and languages. I completed the last credits of my BA in humanistic studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow, Russia. In 2014 I finished my master’s degree in intercultural relations. The focus of my research was on the identity development of bilingual and bicultural children.

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2 Comments »

  1. Hello, Thank you for citing Life with Two Languages. You may be interested in my new book, Bilingual, which is coming out currently in North America. Here is the publisher’s description of it: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/GROBIL.html?show=catalogcopy

    If you send me an email, I will send you the Introduction and the Table of contents.

    Good luck with your blog and my very best wishes to you.

    François Grosjean

  2. Valerie said

    Dear Virginie,
    This summer I have become “a research junkie” on raising children bilingually and I just love your book most of all : ). You have a wonderful writing voice that transmits the informative/research side while complementing it with a very loving motherly voice, sensitive to the varying linguistic complexities present.
    I have a question and seek your expert advice (on my linguistic complexity!)
    I am a native English speaker, with near-native French. I am a French teacher here in the U.S. I adore French and feel it comes natural to me, enough
    that I am comfortable speaking it at home about the everyday things with my children (I spent over a year in France where I lived with a French family with kids (babies and older plus years of exposure/study/practice/teaching etc)
    My husband is a native Farsi speaker, but he has not transmitted that language fully to the children (he did not do the bilingual thing–did not have the energy or time to fulfill the commitment and as English is the language at home…). I am a conversant Farsi speaker, and our immediate community is largely Farsi speaking. While obviously valuable for us (!), this language is not as close to my heart as French! The kids have a solid passive knowledge of Farsi, but are not thrilled about attending classes and the like. That is at a standstill right now (they are just passively learning).
    I have chosen to focus my efforts in French/English….however there is one other complication, as we are practicing Muslims I do not necessarily feel welcome in France, due to the politics and islamaphobia there. Does it make sense for me to devote my time and energy to teaching my children a language which although close to my heart as a mother & teacher, may not offer them anything in their future? Am I being super negative here? What is your take on this situation?
    Thanks for reading my long letter and your attention on my linguistic problem!
    Valerie
    p.s. I have 5 children, ages: 14, 11, 8, 6, 3. We are numerous enough that for me it is worth taking a solid stand and committing myself to this for their childhoods and beyond…

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