Raising bilingual children

When raising bilingual children – 10 tips

Raising bilingual children – we are just beginners in this journey. After being in a workshop about raising bilingual children we realized that some of our taken truths were not that right. Here we leave some tips we learned during that workshop (with a lot of “BUTs”):

1. Speak your native language with your kids BUT don’t be afraid to teach them your second, third (and so on) languages. Even if you don’t speak them perfectly.

2. Introduce languages to your kids as soon as possible BUT never think it is already too late to start learning a new language.

3. Monitor closely your kid’s language development BUT never compare it to other kids specially kids raised with one language.

4. Chose and be consistent with a language strategy BUT don’t hesitate to change it if it is not working for your family.

5. Correct your kids’ speaking mistakes BUT with love! Don’t let them associate negative experiences to a specific language.

German portuguese children's story book
German portuguese children's story book

6. Use games and media to improve the exposure to a specific language BUT don’t expect that your child will learn a language just by playing some games or watching TV.

7. Take 15 minutes to do language related activities with your children, as reading BUT don’t stop reading to them once they can read on their own.

8. Do research and get informed about bilingual parenting BUT take care with myths and misconceptions.

9. Your child will most likely establish a minority language naturally BUT don’t panic if he prefers to speak the majority language, it will more than likely be the case.

10. Learning a language should be fun and natural BUT if needed seek professional help. It doesn’t mean that you or your child are a failure.

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