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Archive for the ‘Bilingual’ Category

Raising Bilingual Children

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Bilingualism is usually a result of being born in a bilingual family, where the parents have different native languages, but it is also possible to raise bilingual children in a non-bilingual family. The most important thing to know is that you really need to make sure that your child is learning two separate languages completely and not two “half-languages”, mixing and matching words and grammar rules between the two languages. That can be achieved by sticking to your own language whenever you communicate with the child. If you alter between languages, the kids might not learn both languages properly or they can choose to go for the easier option, which is usually the language spoken in their surroundings.

For example, if you are wondering how to teach French for children while living in an English-speaking country, make sure you use French all the time and even take them to some French-speaking activities, invite some French-speakers to play with your kids and offer them French books, software and games. Read them in French, watch movies and listen to music in French to further enhance their learning. You might even choose to put them to a French school to learn even more French once they are older.

Another important thing which goes for both bilingual and non-bilingual parents is to remember is to stick to your native language. It can be tempting to try to speak a foreign language to your kid in order to teach them, but that is really not a good idea. Your mother tongue is your real language which you use for thinking and communicating your real feelings. It is the most versatile language you know, even if you are able to speak other languages relatively well. Speaking your own native language to your child will give them an opportunity to learn one language extremely well just by growing up with you, and that is a good stepping stone for learning other languages. Also, most of us make mistakes while speaking a second language, no matter how well we know it. If you use your second language with your kids, they will learn the mistakes as well.