Raising Multilingual Children: The First 5 Steps to Success Branson MO
Childhood & Adolescence, Couples & Family, Depression/Grief/Chronically or Terminally Ill, Mental Health/Agency Counseling
National Certified Counselor
Counseling Associates of Mid-Missouri
Jefferson City, MO
Licensed in Missouri
45 Years of Experience
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder, Behavioral Problems, Couple or Marital Issues, Depression, Family Dysfunction, Interpersonal Relationships, Parenting Issues, Stress, Trauma/PTSD, Personality Disorders, Anger Management
Children of Divorce
Age Groups Served
Children (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Young Adults (18-25), Adults (26-59)
Raymond T. Fezzi, LCSW
St. Louis, MO
Licensed in Missouri
22 Years of Experience
Addictions/Other (gambling, sex, etc.), Addictions/Substance, Bipolar Disorders, Couple or Marital Issues, Depression, Domestic Violence, Family Dysfunction, Interpersonal Relationships, Psychoses/Major Mental Illness, Stress, Trauma/PTSD, Dual Diagnosis,
ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), Children of Divorce, Step Families
Age Groups Served
Young Adults (18-25), Adults (26-59)
Raising Multilingual Children: The First 5 Steps to Success
Parent & Child
|Raising Multilingual Children: The First 5 Steos To Success |
By Christina Bosemark
When I was growing up, the only way to raise a true 'world denizen' was at an exorbitantly priced Swiss boarding school. Luckily, such elitism has been thrown out the window, and now parents raise bilingual and multicultural children themselves. The children grow up just as world-savvy and sophisticated -- and actually know their own parents! Still for the do-it-yourselfer, a few tips can smooth the way.
The most common question people ask me is 'How do I raise a bilingual child the best way?' 'Easy, just talk to them!' is my tongue-in-cheek response. It seems almost impossible to imagine the baby transforming into a communicating creature, let alone one conversant in several languages. Although the miraculous progress from cooing to speech occurs in exactly the same fashion whether it transpires in one or in several languages, the practicalities are different.
Here are the first steps to raising your very own polyglot tot.
1. Family agreement: Even though agreement within the family is perhaps the most essential ingredient, I am sometimes asked, What do I do if my partner doesn t want me speaking to our child in a language he doesn't understand?" An insecure spouse may fear being excluded from 'the secret language' between the other parent and the child. Discuss and compromise. It is very important that couples find some solution that is acceptable to both parents as well as beneficial to the child.
2. Enthusiastic, yet realistic: Once the idea of two languages has settled in, many people consider adding more. Usually the number of languages spoken within the household is enough for the child to absorb, but it s actually possible to successfully introduce as many as four languages simultaneously -- provided you can offer enough exposure and need for each one. Still, research suggests that a child needs to be exposed to a language 30% of his waking time to actively speak it, and since waking time is a finite quantity, so, too, is language acquisition.
3. The practical plan: Next, you need to make sure you have a plan. Agree on who speaks what language to whom and then stick to it. There are endless variations on the two most successful language systems. The most common involves one person who always speaks to the child in the foreign language. Anyone who is spending a significant amount of time with the child can function as this primary speaker. The second common language system is where the whole family speaks in the foreign language. To add another language beyond those already spoken within the family, or if your family doesn t speak any foreign languages, you'll need to provide an outside source like an immersion program, a nanny or an au pair.
4. Get together: Building a support network is probably t...