89 votes
Accepted

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

Yes, I do have another idea. Most sources agree that immersion is the best way to really learn a language. So bringing your son to a school where English is the primary language is a good start. ...
  • 17.6k
51 votes
Accepted

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

You probably need to get started on English exposure soon. At some point he wants to play with other kids and unless you live in a French speaking enclave, that will happen in English. I suggest ...
  • 6,742
45 votes
Accepted

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

is this approach going to help her build connection with a basic vocabulary Yes should I try to broaden it as much as I can and as soon as I can? Yes. Progress the Russian and English vocabulary at ...
  • 6,742
43 votes
Accepted

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

My approach to pronunciation issues is simple: pronounce them correctly myself, but only correct my children when it's relevant (meaning, if they're saying something that's actually a different word, ...
  • 58.4k
42 votes

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

Don’t worry. I have 3 kids who are now fluent in 3 languages... When the youngest was learning to count we were giving her the numbers in either of two languages - because she was also at nursery ...
  • 1,665
41 votes

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

Having been in a similar family position (as the child) half a century ago, it's possible he's a bit possessive of his mother, and associates your English with losing her full attention and regard. In ...
  • 2,700
33 votes
Accepted

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

I have personally tried this. The only difficulty that I've found is that once your child reaches "reading age", these books can offer some starting points. However, if your child has consistently ...
30 votes

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

If you want a child to be truly bilingual, you have to start with both languages at the very beginning. The important thing is the separation of languages. This can be accomplished in multiple ways. ...
27 votes

Too many languages?

Being parents of different "tongues" implies, in my opinion, an obligation to give your child(-ren) as much diversity as possible. I am not qualified to argue against linguists, but I see it as no ...
  • 2,560
27 votes

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

You could ask him to help you learn Japanese better. In order to explain things to you, he will have to speak some English, while at the same time the potential reward of you speaking more Japanese ...
27 votes
Accepted

when to start reading books to a child and attempt teaching reading?

In our experience, the main reading-promoting activities at this early age were limited to reading aloud to children. We used good quality books with lots of pictures, often board books. Having the ...
20 votes

Too many languages?

Anecdotal evidence: When I was living in Barcelona, my neighbors were a couple with a kid. The father was German, the mother was French, they talked to each other in English and the kid was going to ...
  • 301
18 votes

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

This answer is only from my personal experience raised in an only-French-speaking home/family/extended family living in the US. My father and mother both had a lot of siblings, and I had lots of ...
  • 67.2k
16 votes

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

I can give you a few data points. The first one is my son, to whom I spoke French since he was born. I am French, we lived in another country at that time, but I knew we would be back in France (and ...
  • 539
16 votes

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

This is one of those rare cases where there's been a scientific study on exactly this topic! The short answer is yes, speaking Russian with your 9mo daughter --- even for just the short visits you ...
  • 2,437
16 votes

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

I think you might be overreacting. As an French-speaking American, I can guarantee most non-French speaking Americans can't pronounce battu (and many other words) correctly, either. It's performing ...
  • 67.2k
14 votes

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

The child needs incentive to learn. Only speak English and have great quality time with him. Go out together, cook together, have a hobby together, just make sure you're doing it together and only ...
  • 1,608
14 votes

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

I think you are in danger of already having left this too late. Children learn language by making sense of what they hear before they start to speak at all. To be truly bilingual, and "accent-free", ...
  • 241
13 votes

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

There is no harm in broadening the second language (e.g., Russian) vocabulary. Numerous studies have shown that bilingual and monolingual children have similar overall vocabulary sizes (see, for ...
13 votes

when to start reading books to a child and attempt teaching reading?

when to start reading books to a child As soon as it's fun for everyone involved. 11 months is fine if you and your daughter enjoy it. and attempt teaching reading? Too early. At 11 month you ...
  • 6,742
12 votes

Moving to US with a 5 year old child

We moved with three kids ages 1-4 from Germany (your name sounds German, so this may be relevant). We were lucky enough to find a pre-school program that was for kids whose first language was ...
  • 6,742
12 votes

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

You may not get a choice, particularly as your child gets older. Mine has lots of books in both English and her mother tongue. When I pick up a book she will often request demand it be read in one ...
10 votes

Too many languages?

So my question is, would my child be confused if I spoke Kurdish with it and Danish to my husband and my husband spoke Turkish to the child? As an adult, when I'm a 2nd language learner, I never, ...
10 votes

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

"Gamification". We had a Japanese "wwoofer" ('Willing Workers On Organic Farms") staying with us some years back, and played cooperative scrabble - we all worked together to find the different ...
10 votes

4 languages... are we going to overload our child?

Most of the parenting resources say that it's easier for babies to learn different languages if each person who interacts with them stick to one particular language. I found this true from my ...
  • 1,422
9 votes

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

Immersion is the most effective way to learn, and it sounds like your son enjoys watching television. So my suggestion is to allow him a set amount of Japanese television per day (30 minutes would be ...
  • 58.4k
9 votes

How to teach a child a third language you don't speak yourself fluently?

There have been many posts on multilingualism and the most common approach, namely one-person-one-language, as well as mixing languages. It sounds like you'd be offering your child input 3 languages (...
  • 1,732
8 votes

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

I've taught eighth grade (13-14 year-old kids) algebra for 28 years. The kids who arrive at middle school not knowing their basic multiplication facts are very unlikely to succeed in math in high ...
  • 3,185
8 votes
Accepted

Should I be worried my daughter is in a bilingual kindergarten class?

If there's one thing you should be worried about it's that your daughter is put in such a class and you were apparently not even aware of it... I find it really strange. But learning a second ...
  • 2,205

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