Top ten mistakes when raising bilingual children – article

Eventually I’m going to finish writing my post on my thoughts on teaching kids Hebrew if you’re a native English speaker homeschooling in Israel. Eventually.  That seems like everything in my life lately….I get to things but it’s all taking longer than I would like.  Especially when I keep having more and more things to say about that topic!

One of the more relaxing things I’ve been recently spending time learning about lately is early literacy and how that intersects when there are two languages you want to teach your child.  I just found this website and though I’ve only looked at it briefly so far, it seems to have a lot of interesting information that I’m sure will be helpful to those of you who want to raise bilingual children.

On this site, they list the ten mistakes parents make when raising bilingual children (in this context when they say ‘raising’ they mean the aspect of teaching your child a language):

“- Don’t teach — make it fun and natural.
– Don’t make a big deal of the languages — but do explain the usage.
– Don’t correct — just repeat the words correctly.
– Don’t ask your child to “show off,” — but praise him if he volunteers.
– Don’t mix languages yourself — a consistent language system provides structure, predictability, and security. This in turn promotes learning.
– Don’t rely on recordings — speak or sing to your baby directly and intently.
– Don’t be shy — use your language in public even if you sometimes feel embarrassed.
– Don’t make abrupt changes to your child’s language environment — go slow and explain what’s happening.
– Don’t wait to expose your child to a second or third language — the earlier your child starts, the easier it will be for everyone.
– Don’t wait! We really mean it! If not now, probably never.

But Do: praise, encourage, and have fun! “

This fits in nicely with my views on education, in that I strongly feel that education of whatever topic matter should be interesting and relevant to the child, low pressure, the approach used should be as integrated and natural as possible and above all, keep it enjoyable!


3 thoughts on “Top ten mistakes when raising bilingual children – article

  1. I do not think not mixing languages is actually possible in a truely bilingual situation. Certain words or concepts only exist in one language or culture and not the other and certain things exist for *your child* in one language a d not the other. That is part of being bilingual that I never understood untill I found myself part of a bilingual family and I thing is truely what it means to be bilingual- to live in two languages all the time.

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