101 Debardeleben Street Auburn University, Alabama 36849-5637

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In most families, heritage languages are lost within one generation. Often, well-intentioned bilingual parents aren’t able to pass on their native language. Doing so requires skills that parents are never taught, and it requires an uncommon understanding of child language acquisition.

In this workshop, we will:

  • explore different ways in which individuals and families can be supported in their multilingual journey
  • shed light on typical hurdles for maintaining the home language
  • look at top-down and bottom-up approaches in family language policy
  • gain a better understanding of the great need for family language planning

Based on her latest research, Dr. Pittman will also share details about an accountability system for multilingual families. Heritage language maintenance is challenging and complex, but also precious and rewarding. Being intentional, staying informed, and building a strong support system can be key to success.

Dr. Iulia Pittman is Professor of German and Linguistics at Auburn University and founder of Multilingual Family Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition from the University of Georgia and an M.A. and B.A. in German/English Translation and Interpreting from Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She is passionate about languages and is dedicated to supporting individuals and families in their journey to multilingualism. She is the editor and chapter author of the book Raising Children Bilingually in the United States, has published numerous articles on heritage language maintenance, and has been interviewed by newspapers and by podcasters on multilingualism and bilingual parenting. Her work is informed by her extensive academic knowledge and access to current research, as well as by her own experience growing up bilingually and being the parent of three English-Hungarian bilingual children.

Sponsored by the Esperantic Studies Foundation and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities.


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