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13 Things You Should Definitely NOT Say to Your Bilingual Kids to Get Them Speaking Your Language

13 Things You Should Definitely NOT Say to Your Bilingual Kids to Get Them Speaking Your Language

First of all, if you want to get your children speaking more in the minority language, here are several key posts that can help you do this…

7 Steps to Get Your Bilingual Child Using the Minority Language More Actively

What to Do When Your Bilingual Child Won’t Speak Your Language

5 Ways for Your Bilingual Child to Interact with Other Speakers of the Minority Language

As the title of this post stresses, I don’t recommend that you try to get your children speaking more in the ways below. Still, if you insist on proceeding—despite my stern warning—you should at least practice a little on your own, before approaching the reluctant child in question. Again, I can’t condone these tactics, but go ahead and prepare properly by saying each one out loud in a firm voice, inserting the name of your target language in every blank space.

1. If you speak __________, I’ll let you eat nothing but candy.

2. Santa Claus only brings presents to good little boys and girls who speak __________.

3. That’s fine. You don’t have to speak __________. And don’t worry about your poor mother’s broken heart, either.

4. (Spoken in a deep growl while hiding beneath your child’s bed in the dark) Oh my! A child who doesn’t speak __________! They’re the most delicious kind!

5. Stop chewing on the bars of that cage! I told you, I’ll let you out when you start speaking __________.

6. Just speak __________, darling, and Daddy will get you a pretty pony.

7. (Talking into your cell phone) Hello? Is this the police? I have a child here who won’t speak __________.

8. But that’s what the dentist told me. If you don’t starting speaking __________ more, your teeth will all turn black and drop out like raisins and your tongue will turn into a rotting banana peel.

9. It’s a scientific fact. Children who try hard to speak __________ are 99% more likely to get a weekly allowance.

10. You have two options: Speak to me in __________. Or speak to me in __________ while being grounded for the next six months.

11. Do you know what “inheritance” means? Do you think you’d like one someday?

12. Maybe we should just trade you in for a turtle.

13. I read an interesting article in the newspaper today. It was about a boy who wouldn’t speak __________ and when he was supposed to celebrate his next birthday, with a big chocolate cake and lots of presents, he couldn’t! His birthday had disappeared! It was gone, without a trace! And after that, he never had another birthday again! He stayed the same age forever and couldn’t be a grown-up and drive a car or buy a horse or anything. All because he wouldn’t speak __________!

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2 Responses

  1. Oh my God… 😀

    I read it when my girl has just pushed the boundaries… I think I’ll write these down. They’ll come in handy… 🙂

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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

Adam
I’m Adam Beck, the founder of this blog and The Bilingual Zoo, a lively worldwide forum for parents raising bilingual or multilingual kids. I’m also the author of the widely-read book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for over 20 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 16 and 13. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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