Frequently Asked Questions
Actually, you just speak to her. The more interaction she gets in the different languages the better. In the end, multilingual children learn exactly the same way as monolinguals, they just assimilate more than one language. Here is a list of ten steps you may want to think about before starting out.
There are many methods to raise a child with multiple languages. Whatever method you choose, the more consistent you are the easier for the child. Here are some different methods and examples of how some families have done it.
That is a common but old misconception. Actually there are many myths like that about raising multilingual kids. Take a look here to help you sort fact from fiction.
Aside from the obvious advantage of being able to speak more than one language, it impacts your child positively in the sense of self esteem, future job opportunities and ability to live and travel abroad. Additionally, countless studies show that both analytical, social and and literacy skills are improved when growing up with several languages. Here you can take a look at both the pros and cons (yes, there are some cons too, but probably not the one’s you’d think.)
Now! Seriously, the sooner you get going the better. The best is even before birth of your child. But, it is not just because of developmental reasons children who start later have a harder time with foreign languages. See here why now is the perfect time.
Absolutely not. Kids of all ages are language sponges. However, it will take a bit more resolve on our end, and some motivation for you child. We’ve put together some pointers on how to introduce language to kids beyond infancy.
Absolutely, even some monolinguals are late bloomers and don’t start to talk until the age of two, or even later. However, if you are concerned you can read more here.
Unlike motor skills, for example, speech development is much more secretive — regardless of one or several languages. Additionally, it remains highly individual, so comparisons are always tricky. But, here are some indicators to keep tabs on your child’s progress.
Children’s brains are primed for language learning during the first years of life and assimilate language markedly different than adults, particularly relative to pronunciation and grammar. So, if you want to raise your child speaking like a native you’ll want to read this.
Although children can learn a foreign language at any age, taking advantage of the critical period (when the brain is primed for language) making it even easer. Take a look here on what takes place during that time and how long it lasts.
What it really means is that the child has no perceived need for the language. So, being consistent with your language system and providing enough minority language interaction helps create that need for the language. These pointers should get your child back on track again, and more here for motivating older kids.
Many parents feel that way, but it is not all quantity. Quality matters too. Make the most of what time you have, and use these ideas to maximize the time you do have. If you still want more quantity, these tips provide several ways to find more language interaction that you may not have thought of.
Certainly — if you are lucky enough to have either a daycare, pre-school or school in your language where you live, take the opportunity. It is astonishing how much it helps your child develop her minority language. Here is what you can expect from immersion programs.
Sing together, read books, play games and most importantly have fun. But, when you’ve run out of ideas on how you can keep the language progressing, check out this tip sheet.
Actually, we have a whole section of recommended book, not just for your own education, but your child’s too. For a great collection of foreign language shops look in our Resource Directory. There you can also find bilingual schools, immersion child care, language play groups, speech therapists, blogs, forums, book sellers, expat resources and much more.
Yes you can! By the time child is old enough for sophisticated conversations, your own second language will have improved massively. And, don’t worry about your less than perfect grammar, or not finding the exact word. You are still providing priceless language foundation for your child, that can be polished by native speakers later in life. Here is information for non-native speakers and this section of the forum is specifically for you.
This is really a highly individual issue. And, it usually varies depending on the specific situation as well. Here are a few strategies to help you set up your own \’etiquette rules\’.
Always keep a look-out in our forum for other families speaking your language, but to find families where you live, the absolutely best way is our classifieds section. It has many other great \’wanted and offered\’ listings where you can post events, advertise your playgroup or look for one, do house exchanges, trade or sell kids language materials, look for native speaking child care, etc.
The number one mistake is discouragement. Seriously, many parents think they can\’t succeed if their children \’just understands\’ the second language, and don\’t speak it. Passive understanding of a language is tremendously overlooked, and can easily be turned into active language use later in life. The other common mistakes are here.
Absolutely, we are actually looking for both parents, educators and experts to share their experience and expertise. Please contact us! Also, if you have written extensively on the topic we now offer the opportunity to create you own column on this site. More information in our article submission guidelines.