The Three Most Common Questions About Raising a Bilingual Child

  • Isn’t it better to teach the 2nd language after a child properly speaks the first?

This is not necessarily true. Speaking it later will make the child think it is less important. Additionally, it is guaranteed that the children will learn the dominant language in school, so it’s good to give priority to the minority language.

  • Do children get confused when they hear two different languages at home?

It’s normal for kids to prefer to speak the most dominant language in their environment. However, you can always motivate your child with attractive rewards (like ice cream or a trip to the amusement park) for listening and repeating what you say in the other language. It’s good to remember that kids become used to the second language after a short while. Even if they don’t fully understand what’s being said at the beginning, they become familiar with the sound and intonation, and will eventually grasp the meaning over time.

  • Isn’t it better to teach the 2nd language after a child properly speaks the first?

Not necessarily true! Speaking the 2nd language later will give a reason for the child to think it is less important. Additionally, it is guaranteed that the children will learn the dominant language in school, so it’s okay to give priority to the minority language at home and when with the family.

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