50. How to give your kids the gift of two languages

Jack Roepers, a polyglot and native Dutch speaker, started his sons Cyrus (L) and Philip (R) on the path to bilingualism from birth.

Are there certain best practices for starting your children on a lifelong path to bilingualism? Absolutely, and in Episode 50, Steve shares the three that are most essential. They can work even if parents are not (or not yet) bilingual.

You’ll also meet two families who started their children off as bilingual speakers and one family who wished they had. What caused their paths to diverge?

Enjoy this fourth free audiobook chapter of America’s Bilingual Century by Steve Leveen. You’re listening to Chapter 18, narrated by Sean Pratt.


Listen on iTunes by clicking here: America the Bilingual by Steve Leveen on iTunes. Or on SoundCloud here. Steve comments on Twitter as well.


Support for the America the Bilingual project comes from the Levenger Foundation.

Support for our podcast episodes comes from members of the America the Bilingual Project team, including Caroline Doughty, our audio and digital book maven; Fernando Hernández and his production house, Esto No Es Radio, who provide sound design and mixing; Mim Harrison, our editorial and brand director; Carlos Plaza, our creative director; and Karla Hernandez at Daruma Tech, who manages our website. Meet the entire America the Bilingual team—including our bark-lingual mascot, Chet—here.

Like the music? It’s “Quasi Motion” by Kevin Macleod at the start of the episode and then “West in Africa” by John Bartmann.

We invite you to follow America the Bilingual on Facebook, along with the Lead with Languages campaign run by our friends at ACTFL—The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.