This is the second part in my A-B-C for parents passing on their languages to their little ones.
G is for Grandparents
Grandparents and other family members can be of great help when raising a bilingual child. This is especially important to remember if you are the minority language parent and might be struggling with finding enough exposure time in your language for your child. Engage them in your journey, they will be delighted to help. Passing on your language is also important for the extended family bonds – the connection between your children and their grandparents will be so much closer if they share a common language.
H is for Heritage
Language, heritage and culture are closely intertwined. To fully understand and feel part of a culture you need to be able to speak its language. Make sure to include cultural aspects into your daily life when raising your little one to speak your language. Food, films and festivities – theatre, TV and toys – sport, songs and stories … all part of your culture and heritage.
I is for the Internet
The internet is such a treasure throve for resources when raising a bilingual child. You can find TV and radio programmes, cartoons, educational material, music, games in your language – the list is endless. And of course, through free video calls you can connect with family and friends: an excellent opportunity to practise language skills with other native speakers.
J is for Joy
Associate your language with fun experiences. Your children should feel joy, not pressure when they are learning it. The more fun they have, the more motivated they are to speak it. The more they speak, the better they get at it.
K is for Knowledge
When embarking on the journey of raising your children to speak your family’s languages, prepare yourself by reading blogs, articles and books on the topic. Follow forums and speak to other families about what has worked for them. The more you know, the more prepared you are for any challenges that may lie ahead.
L is for Languages
A bit of an obvious one – your child will grow up having the gift of being bilingual, something that others will envy them of. They will also early on gain an advantage in being able to speak about a language, which strengthens all of their languages. Growing up acquiring more than one language also makes it easier to learn additional languages later on.
May the peace and power be with you.
© Rita Rosenback 2013
Like my post? Subscribe to the weekly Multilingual Parenting Newsletter! In the newsletter you will find exclusive extracts from my book, links to interesting articles, videos and websites as well as other useful information. Each week I also answer a reader question on raising bilingual children.
Categories: Practical advice