How to Raise a Bilingual Child

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
How to Raise a Bilingual Child
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 2:23pm

To help celebrate the Alma Awards, iVillage has a new article on raising a bilingual child:

What do you think about the tips shared?  Do you follow any guidelines on raising a bilingual child?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2002
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 10:47pm

I agree 100% about what the article says, but I gave up trying to argue with Ishi's school, they are dead bent on enforcing English only, and lectured me on how confusing to have Ishi learn 3 languages at once, and how I'm not doing her a favour.
We switched fromt eh one parent one language, to just English, once she pick up that I'll go back to French.
Funny though they were lecturing me more about the french part than they were lecturing DH on the Hindi thing, they felt they were in their right dismissing a foreign language but counldn't be too harsh on the hindi one because that's one of the national languages in India...I hate these double standards big time.
Ishi is a little over 3 years, and still doesn't speak much, I was a late speaker in my days, back then people didn't fret, now it seems people freak out if a 2 years old isn't making sentences :-(

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2007
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 3:42pm

I agree with the article too. We will keep in mind the don't be angry about it part :) it can be frustrating sometimes even though I have a master in applied linguistics and I know that it's only natural for kids to speak the language of their peers not the language of their parents. But still, it's quite frustrating. Maybe it's the fear that she may lose our native language (it's a dialect of Arabic, we're from Tunisia). The school however, seems very helpful. Both teachers last year in pre-k and her teacher in kindergarten this year were very supportive and told us to not worry about how her sentences are different comparing to her English-only speaking classmates and told us to keep doing what we're doing. 

"now it seems people freak out if a 2 years old isn't making sentences :-(" that's so true. We're living in such a competitive world. Even with babies people feel the need to compete and to prove their babies, and thus themselves better. I saw a lady one time in the park swining her baby in those baby swings and when I asked for his age she said almost four months and she told me that it's been a week since he started sitting by himself so she tought he may as well swing a little. So I said: "wow, not yet four months old and he can sit by himslef, that's quite advanced!" the poor lady almost cried, she was very emotional. She told me her family, her MIL and SIL and even her sisters keep telling her to take her baby to the doctor because he can't grab and hold something with his hands yet, he doesn't smile that much (the boy has got an attitude so what?:) and how he's not interested in anybody except his mom (the boy knows well, with how mean they have been to his mom of course he's going to ignore them). It was sad to hear. Only three months old and they're already giving her hard time about her little boy's development. 

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