Two Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child

Two Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child

Raising a Bilingual Child

This book was incredibly helpful to my family. It pointed me in the right direction and helped me enjoy the journey of patenting. Find out more below.

Many of my students ask me how they can help their children grow up with English, if not to be bilingual, at least how to make learning English easier for them. Although I don’t teach children, they ask because they know I’m raising my own son to be bilingual.

Successfully I might add.

There are two tips that have helped me immensely.

1. Read
Raising a Bilingual Child: Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D.

Information is power and the more informed you are the better prepared you are to make good decisions for you and your kids.

This book was an immense help in dispelling many of the myths and rumors associated with raising children to be bilingual. It lays out a number of case studies of parents raising their children with varying degrees of material access and in various combinations of parent languages.

Imagine French parents in France raising their children to speak German, or a Japanese mother and German father living in the US raising their kids to speak several languages.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, this book has you covered.

2. Speak
My son is fully bilingual and has been his whole life. By three, he was already translating some things for me when I didn’t understand.

So what did I do?

I just talked to him. Normal conversation, every day. Simple things like speaking when we go to the park or when we are playing a game are all a kid really needs. We have  fun drawing and writing and we are fortunate enough that there are lots of free materials online for us to access.

But the most effective technique with him has always been to just talk.

Unfortunately, this is also the one thing the parents who come to me asking for help never do. They make all kinds of excuses like their English isn’t good enough or they are worried about making a mistake.

They give up without trying.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • If you give up, nothing will change.
  • Your kids will copy you. So if you speak the target language, they will too.
  • Anything you say, is better than giving them nothing at all.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes.
 

Many students ask me how to help their children be bilingual or how to make learning English easier. I don’t teach children, but they ask because I’m raising my son to be bilingual.

Successfully too.

There are two tips that have helped me greatly.

1. Read
Raising a Bilingual Child: Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D.

Information is power. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make good decisions.

This book helped me understand the many myths and rumors around raising bilingual children. It uses  a number of case studies of parents raising their children with in various combinations of parent languages.

Imagine French parents in France raising their children to speak German, or a Japanese mother and German father living in the US raising their kids to speak several languages.

Whatever situation you are in, this book can help.

2. Speak
My son has been bilingual his whole life. By three, he was already translating for me when I didn’t understand.

So what did I do?

I just talked to him. Normal conversation, every day. Simple things like speaking when we go to the park or when we play a game are all a kid needs. We have  fun drawing and writing. We are fortunate that there are lots of free materials online.

The most effective technique has always been to just talk.

Unfortunately, this is also the one thing the parents who ask me for help never do. They make excuses like, “My English isn’t good enough”, or “I’m worried about making a mistake”.

They give up without trying.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • If you give up, nothing will change.
  • Your kids will copy you. So, if you speak the language, they will too.
  • Anything you say, is better than nothing at all.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes.

People often ask me how to help their children bilingual. They ask me how to make English easier. I don’t teach children. They ask because  my son is bilingual.

Here are two tips to help your kids.

1. Read
Raising a Bilingual Child: Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D.

Reading this book will give you good ideas. It will help you make good decisions. This book helped me a lot. It uses example stories of parents raising their children in different situations.

Imagine French parents in France raising their children to speak German. Imagine a Japanese mother and German father living in the US. Their kids will learn a lot!

This book can help you too.

2. Speak
My son is bilingual. He could translate some things at three years old.

So, what did I do?

The best thing is to talk to each other every day. We talk when we go to the park or when we play a game. We have  fun drawing and writing. 

Unfortunately, many parents never do this. They make excuses, “My English isn’t good enough”, or “I’m worried about making a mistake”.

They give up without trying.

Remember:

  • If you give up, nothing will change.
  • If you speak the language, your kids will too.
  • Anything you say, is better than nothing.
  • It’s ok to make mistakes.

My son is bilingual. Here are two tips to help your kids.

1. Read
Raising a Bilingual Child: Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D.

This book helped me a lot. It will help you too. It uses example stories of parents and their children in different countries.

2. Speak

You should talk to your kids every day. I talk to my son when we go to the park. We talk when we play games. We have  fun drawing and writing. 

Many parents never talk to their kids. They worry too much. “My English isn’t good enough”, or “I’m worried about making a mistake”.

Remember:

  • No trying = no change
  • You speak = your kids speak
  • A little English is better than no English..
  • Making mistakes is okay.