Questions tagged [bilingual]

Learning or speaking more than one (native) language. See also the tags [language] and [language-development].

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80
votes
12answers
7k views

What are some strategies for raising a bilingual child?

We are planning on raising our child bi-lingual. The plan is for my husband to only speak English to her and I would only speak Tagalog (a dialect of the Philippines). I have asked my parents to also ...
54
votes
14answers
19k views

Teaching my son a language he doesn't want to learn

My stepson is a six-year-old native Japanese speaker. When my wife and I first met and as we started getting more serious in our relationship, we didn't put a whole lot of effort into attempting to ...
42
votes
10answers
10k views

Too many languages?

I am actually a language researcher, but when it comes to my own situation I have a hard time being objective and make some choices for my own family. My husband and I are expecting our first child, ...
34
votes
11answers
14k views

Raising a bilingual kid. When should we introduce the majority language?

We are a family living in an English speaking country with a 3-year-old. My wife and I speak both French and English and we are committed to raise our kid bilingual in both languages. So far our ...
34
votes
11answers
2k views

How do you handle bilingual education in a country where you do not speak the language natively?

Our 2 year old son is growing up in a different country (New Zealand) than we did (Brazil). We try to speak to him in portuguese all times, and we noticed that he is learning english reasonably well ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

Expat child refuses to learn local language

We are a Spanish family who has recently relocated to England with our children. Our 6 year old boy can't speak nor understand English; he knows some words, basic phrases and a few numbers, but that ...
25
votes
9answers
6k views

Should I correct my daughter's pronunciation of ballet terms?

I'm a Hong Konger. I grew up in Montréal, Canada so I speak French, albeit with a perfect Québécois accent (which I'm proud of). I now live in Hong Kong. My daughter was born in Hong Kong and mostly ...
24
votes
9answers
9k views

Raising a bilingual child when one parent knows both languages while the other doesn't

I am in the USA, originally from India, and my wife is American. My native language is Hindi. My wife knows only a little bit of Hindi. It hasn't been a problem because we usually talk in English ...
23
votes
8answers
7k views

Do I keep my daughter's Russian vocabulary small or not?

My husband is American, and I am Russian. We live in US in an area without a large Russian community. My relatives are in Russia. Our daughter is nine months old, and I have been speaking to her in ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

Would it be bad to only speak to a child in a language in which you are not completely fluent?

My husband and I can speak daily conversational Mandarin, probably at the fluency and vocabulary of a native 3rd grade speaker. So decent, but not great. We speak 99% of the time in Mandarin to our ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

Will reading the same book in two languages confuse my daughter?

My husband and I are raising our two-year-old daughter in a bilingual home. I speak English, my husband speaks Afrikaans, and we speak each of our respective languages to our daughter. (We basically ...
20
votes
12answers
4k views

What if my kids don't want me to speak my native language?

My children are raised multilingual; we live in Austria and they learn all their German from my wife and from the world around us. I'm Danish and I want my kids to know that language too, so since ...
18
votes
9answers
7k views

Can I “read” from English books to my infant, but use words from my native language?

Background: We're an already bilingual household without English. We don't plan on introducing English at home, since our child will pick it up from daycare, school and other places outside the house. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I stop teaching my toddler a second language if his exposure to it will be limited?

I have stared to talk exclusively in English to my son when he was less than 6 months old. However, we have decided not to move to an English speaking country, so I ended up practically alone. It's ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Raising a tri-lingual child, tricky context

I have found many of the topics here very interesting, but would like to share my personal situation, as it is quite specific, to see if you guys have any advice or experiences to share. :) I am ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

Is 3 years old too late to start learning a 2nd language natively?

I'm English and my wife is Portuguese and we are living in Portugal. I'm bilingual in Portuguese and my wife and I have always spoken Portuguese together. When my son was born, I found it somewhat ...
11
votes
2answers
309 views

Will teaching American Sign Language provide the same developmental benefits as a bilingual household?

It has become well documented that raising a child in a bilingual environment has numerous developmental benefits. These seem to largely center on increased vocabulary and situational awareness. ...
11
votes
3answers
426 views

How can I encourage my baby's first words while keeping up a bilingual distinction?

My wife and I speak to our daughter (13 months old) in Hebrew and in English, respectively; we're careful that each of us speak to her consistently in our own language all the time. She's on the ...
10
votes
4answers
722 views

Can I teach my 9-month-old child my native language if I only see her for a few minutes at a time?

I am the father of a 9-month-old girl. I am divorced and my ex-wife speaks only Hebrew with the baby while my mother language is Russian. I am also able to speak Hebrew. I see the baby for about 15-20 ...
10
votes
4answers
996 views

At what age is it appropriate to start to teach a foreign language / second language - and how to do it?

We are a Brazilian family in Brazil and therefore we speak Portuguese. I can speak English reasonably well but my wife is just learning it now. We want our 9 months old son to learn English, too. ...
10
votes
4answers
468 views

Moving to US with a 5 year old child

We are considering moving to US with our only 5 years old daughter. We are likely to get a L-kind of visa to secure our stay for 1-2 years. None of us is a native English speaker. Parents do speak ...
10
votes
7answers
23k views

How do we raise our child with three languages?

My wife is Italian, I am Swedish. Between us we speak English, neither one of us knows the other language. We are currently living in Sweden and will do so for a while. The baby will be born in May. ...
9
votes
3answers
956 views

3 languages family

My wife and I speak English together because I don't understand her language and she doesn't speak mine, although we are both fluent in English. We're having our first baby son soon and we were ...
9
votes
2answers
296 views

Kids in multicultural, multi-generational household

My wife is Chinese and I am an American guy. We live in the US and have a 4.5 y/o and 18 m/o. My wife's parents, in very traditional Chinese fashion (I guess it's common among many Asian cultures), ...
8
votes
2answers
762 views

4 languages… are we going to overload our child?

My husband and I are native speakers of 2 different Languages. Lets say mine is A and his is B. We both can speak and understand the other language - with varying fluencies. He speaks my native ...
8
votes
5answers
424 views

Reading in second language for a bilingual kid - how to approach a phonetic language vs. English phonics?

My kid goes to English public kindergarten and learns there to read and write in English. We live in USA. At home we speak Czech and Czech words are read as written with different phonetics. How long ...
8
votes
2answers
557 views

Should I make my child respond to me in my language?

In my family (including extended family), everybody speaks both German and Danish. It also means that everybody can speak whatever language they happen to prefer, and we even throw in a word from the ...
8
votes
2answers
391 views

What are the downsides of “I don't listen to things said in language X today” response used as a tactic for forcing a second language?

It's a reasonably common phenomenon that kids in bilingual families who are correctly raised tend to prefer the language of their country of residence (English, in case of USA). Even if the parents ...
7
votes
4answers
298 views

Monolingual parents encouraging language skills early

At risk of sounding like the over-pushy head mistress from Daddy Daycare.... My wife and I are both monolingual Brits, living Britain, with a four-month old daughter. It seems a shame to waste this ...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

Relation of Multiple languages to (overall) development of child

I have been to most questions related bilingual aspects where whether and how should one introduce more than one language to child. This helps. I am trying to find a bit broader opinion as to what ...
6
votes
6answers
261 views

Moving with our bilingual child

We are two German parents and we are living in an English speaking country. With our child - who just turned three - we speak German, whereas all other people (our friends, his friends, the kids in ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to help a 2-year-old settle in day care where a foreign language is spoken?

TL;DR Our son is starting daycare in a country where the language is (almost) completely alien to him. Can we do anything to help him settling in this new environment? (full story below) Original ...
6
votes
4answers
392 views

How to help our 9-year-old, who struggles with math, to focus?

My 9-year-old son is quadrilingual (fluent in all), education is in the language that both my husband and I are not speaking. He is our only child. We live in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. We ...
6
votes
2answers
720 views

Should we put our a child in a preschool with a primary language we do not speak?

We have an almost 2 year old daughter and we are looking around for preschools to put her in. We are in Vancouver, Canada which has a large Chinese population and Mandarin is very common. Neither of ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

How will my toddler pick up one language which seems harder than the other?

Our 16 month old son is just starting to talk. He understands a lot and he's lately saying a number of simple 1 syllable English words (cheese, shoes, pea, cat, dog, duck etc). However, my husband and ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Teaching a third language to a bilingual toddler

I have a 2,5yo who talks English and Hebrew. He is meeting the milestones for his age in both languages as far as I can tell, but I'd guess he is in the bottom quarter as far as language development ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Kindergarten Teacher teaching in Spanish, should I be concerned?

My 5 year old stepson recently moved to El Paso, TX with me and my wife. He's only been in the U.S. for a little over a month. His primary language is Thai. I would love for him to start picking up ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What language should we teach our child if our native tongue is different from the local language?

My wife and I are from Indonesia and we live in an English speaking country. I'm not sure what language we should speak to or teach our baby boy (now 8 months). Should we use English, so that when ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Should you talk your toddler only in one language when you are multilingual yourself?

Our toddler is raised in a multilingual environment. I speak only one natively. However, I find awkward and unnatural to speak just one language to him from the argument that this will confuse him. ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

How to control a class of 4 year old children?

Any advice on how to "manage", "gain control" and get the "attention" from a class of 4 yr olds? This was not covered in my University course. Note: English is their second language, and I must only ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Will it confuse my son if I try to teach him 3 languages, two of which are very close to each other (Russian and Ukrainian)?

I know Russian, Ukrainian and English, my husband knows only English. We are going to teach our son Russian besides English (English is a dominant language where we live). But I wonder would it be ...
5
votes
4answers
695 views

Enforcing minority languages at home

We're a bilingual household in a country that speaks a third language. I speak Finnish to the kids, my wife speaks Japanese, and I speak Japanese with her. Our older son recently started going to ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to read an English story book to the kid when we don't talk in English at home?

I am not a native English speaker nor is the country I live in. However since English is given a higher preference here over the native language I would like my kid to learn English from an early age. ...
5
votes
3answers
402 views

Is raising a child bilingually with English worth the effort?

I am half Turkish and German (living in Germany) but did not learn Turkish when I was a boy, because back then it was still discouraged to teach two languages at the same time. Now as an adult it ...
5
votes
3answers
534 views

Raising our daughter to be bilingual without one-parent-one-language

I've been through a lot of answers here on raising bilingual children, and the general consensus seems to be (1) each parent speaks their language to the child ('one parent - one language') and (2) ...
5
votes
3answers
242 views

Should I speak English with my toddler

My spouse has a plan! She wants me to speak English with my toddler, to give him an early advantage in English. We live in Israel and both of us speak Hebrew, this is our native language. While my ...
5
votes
3answers
534 views

Should I teach my child a second language?

I know that raising kids bilingual can be a great blessing to them in the future. I am a native English speaker, but have learned a second language which is rarely used in the world. My real question ...
4
votes
3answers
286 views

How to encourage speech development

I have a three year old boy. At home we speak our native language to him and in nursery he speaks English. He seems to have very good understanding of what we say in our native language and reasonable ...
4
votes
4answers
546 views

Raising a bilingual kid. How to speak to my daughter in Spanish (my primary language) when also wanting to perfect my English?

I have an almost a year old daughter. My husbands only speaks English (although understands Spanish very well) and I speak Spanish (my native language) and English (which I learned mostly as an adult)....
4
votes
4answers
665 views

How can I add English to an already bilingual household?

In this recent question, Matej raises his son English bilingual. I think teaching English very early is a great idea because there's hardly any way around English anyway so you might as well learn it ...