My name is Pui-Lai Tsai and I founded Babylingualism because I have been asked frequently by parents – ‘How do I raise my child to be bilingual?’ I am in a unique position to answer this question, being both a mother in a trilingual family as well as working as a Speech and Language Therapist.
As a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with a special interest in multilingualism, my experience includes working with children for over 12 years (ages 0-18 years). In the last five years, I have worked with both children and adults, treating communication and swallowing disorders across London in very diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic boroughs including Brent, Harrow, Camden, Islington, Haringey, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham.
I have a wealth of experience as I have worked with mental health, learning disabilities and challenging behaviours and now the majority of the people I see are pre-school/school aged children and adults with acquired brain injury such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, dementia, multiple sclerosis and so forth.
At home, I have raised a trilingual family: my husband speaks to our son exclusively in Mandarin, and I speak to our son in Cantonese and he responds fluently in both languages. He speaks fluent English to teachers and friends at school, and we are very happy with his progress at school.
Initially wanting to become an English teacher and teaching English and Religious Education in secondary schools, I continue to tutor a few students in English (to maintain the love I have in this subject!) but have also run a successful Cantonese bilingual playgroup for the last 6 years. This brings together other Cantonese speaking parents who wish to impart the gift of bilingualism to their children. Furthermore, as someone who is passionate about languages, having studied French, German, Cantonese, Mandarin, British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton, you can always talk to me about anything language related as I will always be fascinated with anything language and/or the brain related!