Raising bilingual children

Is raising your children bilingual right for your family? 

More parents are seeing the practical benefits to raising their children bilingual. How do you know if this is the right choice for your family? Here are a few questions you may want to think about before you have children, or even before your send them off to school.

Do my partner and I agree that bilingualism is a priority in our household?

First and foremost be sure to have the discussion with your significant other. In order to raise your children bilingually you both have to realize the importance of working as a team and see bilingualism as something you’re both committed to. This could be an especially important discussion if neither of you are bilingual yourselves.

Which language do we want our children to know?

If either you or your significant other is bilingual, it could be easiest to teach your children one of the languages you know fluently. By choosing one of these languages it will be easier to reinforce the second language at home. If you’re thinking about learning a second language alongside your children, think about what languages you feel would be beneficial to know in your country or even world-wide.

How will we support our child in their bilingual journey?

More and more parents are choosing to send their children to a language immersion program without knowing the language themselves. Figure out how you will support your children in learning their secondary language outside of the classroom. For example, one of you may choose to take language courses alongside your children so you can enforce the language at home. If you have friends that are bilingual, they could help with teaching and reinforcing the second language in a social setting with your child.

Of course, this is just a very short list of a long list of questions that are important to ask yourselves before you begin the language journey. However, with a little bit of thought and a lot of patience and perseverance your journey of helping your children become bilingual can be a success. Tune in next week to learn some tips and tactics to raising bilingual children.