Raising a Bilingual Child When You Are Not
Immersing your child in a second language, or raising your child to speak two languages, gives him or her a great advantage. But it can be a challenge is raising a bilingual kid when you are not actually bilingual. If you speak only one language, then you may need to take steps to improve your child’s ability to learn a second language at an early age that differ from bilingual parents.
Try Learning the Language
One way to help your child learn is by actually making the effort yourself. Children naturally try to copy their parents. If they see you trying to learn the language, then it will get their attention and help them gain an interest in the language.
Try a Language Immersion School
Language immersion for preschool or for young children helps them learn the language in a natural environment. When I was younger, my mother pointed out that my older siblings had attended a German school while we lived in Germany. I was an infant at the time, but my older siblings were school-aged children. They all spoke German with relative fluency by the time we left the country two years later.
Language immersion schools and preschools help your children hear the language. They are expected to reply in a second language, so they naturally learn how to speak and understand the second language. When a child learns two or more languages at a young age, it improves their cognitive skills and function. Since a child uses their brain at a higher rate to learn different grammar rules, speech patterns and vocabulary, they end up with greater focus and concentration as they grow. They also develop better memory skills, which aid in development and education. A bilingual kid has an advantage in school and beyond.
Make Language a Priority
If you want your children to become bilingual, then you must prioritize language skills. Encourage your children to learn the language. Ask questions about their lessons or ask them to teach you the new words they learn.
Raising a bilingual kid when you only speak one language can seem challenging, but it can also be a fun and worthwhile adventure.