Episode 79: One dad’s adventure raising a trilingual son with Yono Mittlefehldt

Episode 79

Episode #79 Quick Guide

On this episode, Yono discusses with us:

  • His bilingual upbringing in English and Hebrew;
  • How he learned a third language, German;
  • Strategies he uses to keep up with his Hebrew language skills;
  • How he has managed to expose his son to both English and Hebrew;
  • How his language strategies have changed over time to adjust to his family’s situation;
  • The current strategy he applies or managing both languages: speaking Hebrew when he is alone with his son and speaking English when others are in the room;
  • Why it was important for Yono that his son learn Hebrew;
  • How his personal story with Hebrew has motivated him to pass on his heritage language to his son;
  • The obstacles they have run into specifically when his wife is not familiar with a Hebrew word that their son has learned and is using to communicate;
  • How his son code switches from time to time and how Yono attempts to get his son speaking the target languages;
  • A really funny multilingual exchange between his son and his cousin;
  • His language app, Gus on the Go, geared towards young children and available in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Italian, English, Portuguese, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Croatian, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Taiwanese Mandarin and Taiwanese.
  • The devices that are compatible with Gus on the Go including apple devices, android devices and a few languages is also available on Fuhu;
  • Future plans for Gus on the Go targeted for slightly older children;
  • The supplementary material available on Gusonthego.com for free for multilingual families;
  • A proud moment he shared with his son on a casual visit to the zoo.

Once we hop on the Autobahn at Bilingual Avenue, Yono shares –

  • Favorite resources: Music and songs
  • Best advice received:“Go with your gut!”
  • What has held him back: Keeping up with passing on two languages to his son
  • Great family habit:Reading as a family
  • Favorite Books: Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy;
  • Best Advice to others: Be persistent.


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