5 Myths About Raising Bilingual Children

Raising Bilingual children is great. I honestly laugh EVERY single day but their are so many myths around bilingual children that I decided to pen a few myths that I have come across. Let me know what you think. 1. Growing up with two languages confuses your child… Every day I watch my daughter learn two very different languages and it is great fun. She doesn’t seem confused at all, in fact, we have found the opposite, she’s putting together two words at a time and will often tell you the word for an object in both languages when pointing. I really believe that young children have the ability to differentiate languages much more than we give them credit for. 2. Bilingual kids start to speak later… I hear this line a lot and I’ve even said it myself on a couple of occasions, but I must admit, I think I was wrong! Having spoken to many parents of bilingual children in recent months it seems that girls start to speak earlier than boys and scientific research show that this is indeed the case. Generally, though, I think it depends on the child and each case is different. There is no reason to think that kids will speak later just because they hear two languages. 3. It’s too late to start raising a bilingual child… When I was running an ESL (English as a Second Language) school in China we had courses on how to raise a bilingual child and they worked very well. Once you decide to do it you should go ahead with it, in our experience, there is no down side to it! You can start at any age once you commit too it. 4. Bilingual children mix up the language… This isn’t strictly a myth – children do mix up languages sometimes (and it can be pretty cute when they do!) but I speak 2 languages and *I* mix up the words too because sometimes I know the Chinese word for something, but I don’t know the English and vice versa. The confusion becomes less and less as the child gets older so there is nothing to be worried about there. It can lead to hilarious stories! 5. Children who hear two languages spoken in the home will pick them both up automatically… If you want your child to speak both languages I firmly believe that you need to have a system in place to ensure that it happens. The method I used in China to teach language lessons was IPA (Introduce, Practice, Activate) Firstly you INTRODUCE the language (vocabulary), the topic or theme to the child, then you PRACTIVE the language by looking for structured responses and finally you ACTIVATE the language by trying to get the child to use the target language. I find that using a structured system gets the best results whether it’s at home or in a school setting! I've done this for years but I'm still no expert.... but happy to answer ANY questions! heehee Here's another great link https://momlovesbest.com/bilingual-children

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