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VIDEO: How to Get Your Bilingual Child to Speak Your Language

May 17, 2017

Having some difficulty getting your bilingual child to speak your language?

Watch this video for clear, actionable advice that can help you address this challenge more effectively and get your child using the minority language more actively!

View this video at Bilingual Monkeys TV and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

1 Phyllis Gordon June 10, 2017 at 5:25 am

Do you have suggestions for homes where no one else speaks the target language? Where we live, some pre-schools are immersion Spanish, and some elementary schools have immersion Spanish or Chinese. What if parents want their children to attend but don’t speak the immersion (target) language themselves? Realistically, working parents are not going to be able to become proficient in the target language sufficiently before the child “ages out” of the early immersion experience.

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2 Adam June 10, 2017 at 6:14 am

Phyllis, there are many parents who don’t have ability in the language used at school. In such cases, the child acquires one language (maybe two, depending on the particular family) at home and another language at school. Of course, if the parent has some ability in that language, too, it can be helpful for the process of acquisition, but it isn’t necessary for the child to gain early fluency in that language.

If parents have no proficiency in the target language, and feel more support is needed in order to strengthen the child’s language development (whether before or after enrollment in the school), then the most effective option, of course, is to seek out a speaker of that language (playful college student or other adult, tutor, au pair, etc.) to serve as a regular source of interactive language exposure. The combination of the two—immersion at school plus additional input from another speaker (or speakers) of the language—will likely yield the most successful outcome.

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