Kudos for raising a bilingual child
Today I would like to give a big round of applause to all the moms and dads who are trying to raise their children in more than one language. We know learning another language whether at home or in school only brings benefits to your children.
I encourage you to use your language with your child as often as you can and make sure you are being consistent. You don’t need to worry about their English during their first years of life. They have lots of opportunities to hear and listen to English all around them in their everyday life and later at school.
Keeping your language and passing it on to your children is actually good for everyone in today’s society. It is important because your child will have the ability to communicate properly with everyone in the family wherever they might be. It is very sad when a child is unable to communicate with their grandparents for example or with their other relatives.
Children need rich language input. They need to hear a lot of language. They need to hear a lot of good language and they need to hear a lot of interesting language and you can provide them all that with your first language. Even if you are completely bilingual there will always be the language that you know best, the one that you have the most words for, the language that you can use to describe most things and the one that you can pronounce the best.
But how can you use your language to provide the best language input for your children?
Well, children love to play and it is in this way that they learn best. So use the fact that children like to play to help them learn your language.
- Teach your children songs in your language, rhymes, and short easy poems.
- Play games using the language.
- Read aloud to them. Make the stories interesting and fun by acting out the different characters, by changing voices, by asking questions.
- Talk to them about the things you are doing using lots of body language.
- Use repetition all the time. Children enjoy listening to the same songs and the same stories over and over again. In this way you are playing with language and children are getting the language through repetition while having fun.
- Build a support network by inviting others who are raising their children to speak your language to join you in supporting children’s bilingual language development through a cultural playgroup. You can certainly become the leader in this playgroup. Languages4kidz materials offer you the perfect tools for guiding the group into sessions where mothers and children jointly participate in a range of activities that strengthens their engagement, builds their language skills and addresses child development issues.
- Be patient