Tips for raising bilingual children
Find tips on raising a bilingual child. Search for a babysitter that can help your child learn a second language from the 20+ languages available.
Exposure to more than one language can be incredibly beneficial for your child as the world is becoming progressively globalized. In addition, the ability to speak more than one language improves your child's intellectual development and increases his/her social skills. Overall, you are helping your child by teaching them to speak two languages.
However, it is not an easy process. Especially when you do not live in the country of the language you are trying to teach. Teaching a language is challenging and can also be very confusing for a child. For this reason, Babysits investigated the topic and came up with suggestions on how to raise your child bilingual.
1. Raise your child bilingual thanks to a babysitter!
Life at home and school are the most important environments for kids. This is why bilingual babysitters can be an amazing asset when it comes to teaching a language to kids, as they will spend a lot of time with the child. Hiring a bilingual babysitter will help the child feel closer to the language, as she/he will be able to talk fluently with him/her.
That is why Babysits allows you to filter your search and find the perfect bilingual babysitter that speaks the language you would like to practice. You simply have to go to the search page and afterward, click on “more filters” and choose the preferred language.
2. Read books to the child in the preferred language
To raise your child bilingual, reading to your kid is very important. By reading to children out loud, you will boost their vocabulary, and teach them new words and ways to pronounce them. Plus, reading has the amazing potential for boosting their imagination, and their vision of the world in general.
In case, as a parent, you are not bilingual in that language, you can ask the bilingual babysitter to read books to the child.
3. Create a theme night
Sometimes, enhancing linguistic skills can be draining for children. Therefore, it is important to make it fun and attractive for the kid to learn a new language. You can, for example, implement one day of the week where the entire night is dedicated to the culture/language. For example, if you want to learn French, make some croque-monsieur, and watch Ratatouille in French to learn new words. Another example would be, if you want to teach Dutch, cook pancakes, put on Miffy and friends, and wear your favorite klompen. It will create a stronger attachment to the culture and more willingness to learn the language.
Cultural references and values are essential for learning a language. All these details will give you a new perspective on the language and allow you to learn faster. Therefore, try to emphasize the values of the specific culture at home.
Raising a bilingual child mainly consists of learning the language’s vocabulary, alphabet, and grammar rules, but it also comes with learning about the values of the country and the behavior of the society.
Understanding culture is like having a context that allows you to give the correct meaning to each new word you learn. The more the kid knows about the sociocultural background, the easier it is for him/her to get involved and learn new words, expressions, and ways of speaking.
Familiarity with the culture also allows foreigners to use the right word, depending on the context. In this way, there’s less room for misunderstanding and confusion.
4. Watch shows and listen to music with your kid
Watching shows in another language will increase the kid’s exposure to a range of words, accents, voices, genres, and cultural aspects. This will increase the comprehension of kids and make them great listeners as they will develop an ear for accents, diction, slang, and pronunciations. Moreover, watching movies offers context, making it easier to convert important language information into long-term memory. For example, if your targeted language is Spanish, you could watch Pocoyó or Little Baby Bum in Spanish.
Compared to dubbed movies, subtitled movies and TV programs demonstrate how a native person speaks. This will allow kids to detect certain expressions, accents, and tones of voice that will help the kids better understand the cultural environment of the language they are learning.
Music also helps kids retain words and expressions more effectively. The music rhythm, and the repetitive patterns in the song, will help them memorize words and learn new vocabulary. In this sense, listening to music in your targeted language will help the kid pick up new words as music has a way of sticking in your head.
5. Teaching a language through games
Teaching a language through games can also be another great solution. You can decide to play board games and only speak in the specific language with the child. You can even invent your own game ideas! For example, you can do a memory game with the word connected to the image of that word. This will allow, once again, to make the learning process easier and less draining for the child.
6. Consistency is key!
It is important to be consistent when teaching a skill, especially when it comes to languages. The best way to be consistent when teaching a language is to form a habit or a routine and stick to it. For example, set a specific time of day where you read a chapter of a book to your child. The learning process of a new language must be an important component of your child’s life in order to get satisfying results.