When you’re a parent seeking to raise a bilingual child, it’s vital to be well-informed on the subject. The better informed you are, the better you’ll be able to effectively support your child’s bilingual upbringing.
There are a number of books about children and bilingualism, but I think Raising a Bilingual Child is one of the best. It was written by Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D., an expert on bilingualism who has done extensive research on bilingual development.
To me, the book stands out because the author not only provides plenty of helpful guidance, she backs up this advice with solid scientific findings. Other books I’ve read may offer similar suggestions, but Raising a Bilingual Child pursues a deeper discussion of these ideas and issues.
At the same time, it’s not a scholarly tome. It’s very readable, and would no doubt prove useful and thought-provoking to every parent of a bilingual child.
If it were up to me and there were a particular language that meant a lot to me, I would not leave it to chance. I would be sure to make the time and the space for it and give every advantage to the minority language. I would want to know that I did everything I knew how to do in order to overcome the “linguistic inertia” that leads inevitably toward exclusive use of the majority language. I would make it an explicit goal to help my child achieve a comfort level in the minority language—the majority language will flourish just fine, especially if children are schooled in it for at least part of the day from the time they enter kindergarten. —Barbara Zurer Pearson