Expat Magazine

The Bilingual Baby: How to Start?

By Internationalcouples @icouples

PigeonHaving cleared away some of the misconceptions about raising bilingual children, it is time to go through some tips and practical advice for those couples that raise bilingual babies.

1. Each parent in his/her own language

It is one of the most common approaches according to which each parent should address the baby in his/her native language. This approach does not need to be very strict but it should instead be considered as a general rule. Some couples that I know do not adhere to his rule always but instead use it as a guidance.

Why is it good?

Because it helps babies visualize a different language for a different parent. This helps also reduce language mix.

2. One language per room

One of the 5 Ways of Fostering Bilinguism in Your Child, according to Apartment Therapy, is to create a house rule according to which everyone should speak only one language according to where you are in the house. So one room or one floor would be the English room/floor while the kitchen would become the Japanese or the German room.

3. Let them play and spend time with your grandparents

You must be tired of me writing about this again but it is one of the most logical things every multicultural couple should do: involve your grandparents! I really think that it is the safest, more fulfilling and enjoyable way to foster languages in your baby. (I you've missed it, take a loook at Why should your kids spend time with their grandparents? ).


4. Bilingual lullabies

When you use this learning tip, make sure that each parent reads lullabies to the baby in his/her native language. It is important to do so, in order to avoid letting the baby pick up unnatural accents.


5. Bilingual games

A playful learning tip is to provide your baby with bilingual toys, games and puzzles.  A relaxed, not-pushing method to let your baby associate words and objects from both languages. For more sources visit www.GrowingBilingual.com.


What is your choice to foster bilinguism in your baby?

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