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How to Teach A Child to be Bilingual

teach a child to be bilingual

As you teach your child to be bilingual, many questions arise. Is this learning beneficial to my child? Will there be any language development concerns once your child starts school?

All these inquiries and more are valid questions. What is more challenging to address is how to incorporate a learning environment that complements with what your child learns at school? Even at the beginning stage of learning, babies initially start to gather information about the world around them. 

Babies Brain and Learning

As babies develop into infants and toddlers, the language skills they learn comes from direct relation with others. As you teach your baby new words and phrases, the brain continues to grow and gather more information. While this development stage is a perfect opportunity to introduce a new language, take into considerations on how to support the learning growth.

One aspect to consider is that babies will begin to prefer one style over another. As more adults and family members speak one dominant language at home, babies will acquire that preferred language. So, be mindful when you want to introduce a language that you speak and that language spoken by others at home.

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Raising bilingual children in a monolingual household

raising bilingual children

Raising bilingual children is both exciting and exhausting. When bringing up children of different languages in a monolingual home, it is a mixture of language learning in many different ways.

Children, by nature, want to learn. Indeed, the more they are around people that speak other languages, the more likely they will pick up on that language.

However, it is not that simple. Language learning is a cognitive development of a brain process. In raising bilingual children in a monolingual home is hard at times.

What are some ways you could use as parents to bring up bilingual children?

Raising bilingual children is essential for language development

One of the means to add foreign language learning is to attend bilingual story times at your local libraries or community centers, if available. Perhaps, there are limitations in your area to incorporate more bilingual learning.

In that case, consider looking for closed-captioned educational videos or movies at your local library. Consequently, if you speak a foreign language than another person at home, try to focus on simple words or phrases with your children.

Why is this so important?

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Bilingual education in elementary schools

Children reading books

Bilingual education in elementary schools is slowly integrating foreign language programs. Whereas high schools already have foreign language programs in place, elementary schools are still trying to educate their students in languages other than English.

Spanish, Mandarin, and other foreign languages are making the way into school systems and parts of the bilingual education in the United States. Yet, much needs to be done.

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