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The Ultimate List of Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids

My Best Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids

1. Start early If you’re proactive from the start, you’ll stand a much better chance of nurturing a good balance in the child’s bilingual ability. From birth to age 6 or 7 is a vital time for two reasons: 1) this is the period young brains are most primed for language acquisition, and 2) if the child attends elementary school in the majority language, it grows more difficult to “rebalance” the two languages after that. In other words, the investment

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45 Key Questions Every Parent Raising a Bilingual Child Should Ask

1. What are the benefits, to your mind, in raising a bilingual child? For the child? For you? For your family, near and far? For others? For the world? (Perspective 2 and Perspective 30) 2. How strongly do you believe that your actions each day—even your small actions—make an important difference to the larger success of your bilingual quest? (Perspective 3) 3. Which of your current circumstances are favorable for your success? Which circumstances are less favorable? How will you

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You Are Not Alone

I have a simple message today: You are not alone. I know it can feel that way at times, especially if you’re the main source of exposure to the minority language in your child’s life. And I know that when you feel alone, the bilingual journey—which is hard in any case—just becomes that much harder. There may even be times at the end of another long, lonely, exhausting day when you lie there in bed and wonder: Can I really

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

When it comes to raising bilingual children, the most common concern I hear—and this is a frustration felt by families in all parts of the world—involves strengthening the child’s ability in the minority language and getting the child to use that ability more actively. One of the most-read articles at this blog discusses this difficulty at some length and offers a variety of suggestions for addressing it: What to Do When Your Bilingual Child Won’t Speak Your Language With this

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96 Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Child’s Bilingual Ability

Today is another opportunity to nurture your children’s language development. Every effort you make today, and again tomorrow, will move you and your children a little farther along your bilingual journey. These small steps will gradually add up over time—over days, weeks, months, and years—and largely determine the distance you travel. But in the end, it always depends on today. Below, then, is a list of 96 things you can do, right now, to help nurture your children’s language development,

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This Might Be the Very Best Thing About Raising Bilingual Kids (And It’s Probably Not What You Expect)

There are many good things about raising bilingual children. In my case, with my kids now 10 and 8, these include… Communicating with my children in my mother tongue and sharing the joys of this language with them Seeing them communicate with family members and others who don’t speak our majority language Giving them the gift of two languages, an ability that can positively impact their lives in so many ways These are tremendous benefits, and we’ve been blessed to

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Do This One Simple Thing and I Guarantee You Greater Success On Your Bilingual Journey

Last year I wrote a post titled Want to Supercharge Your Success at Raising Bilingual Children? and mentioned a special project that I called “a game changer for parents who are serious about raising bilingual kids, but want to get even more serious—and more successful—at this challenge.” Although I didn’t reveal full details of the project then, and I finally set it aside—at least for the time being—when I ran into some technical issues and other considerations, I wanted to

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Why Saying a Lot of Dumb Things to Your Bilingual Kids Is So Valuable to Their Language Development

Saying dumb things to your bilingual children can actually be very smart. At dinner the other day I was asking my fifth-grade daughter about her weekly afterschool club at the local elementary school my kids attend. (These club activities are an option from the fourth grade so my third-grade son will be able to take part soon.) The conversation started off something like this… ME: How was dodgeball club today? LULU: Fun. ME: I’m glad you had fun. (Lulu silently

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The Top 5 Regrets of Parents Who Have Had Difficulty Raising Bilingual Kids

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent eight years caring for people who were dying. As she talked intimately with these people about their lives, during their last weeks on earth, she saw common themes emerge when they revealed their regrets. She eventually put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. According to Ware (in an infographic from, these are the biggest regrets of those facing the end of their lives… Observations

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This Is When You Should Give Up the Idea of Raising a Bilingual Child

The other day I received a message from a frustrated parent, on the verge of abandoning the bilingual journey, who explained: “I’ve done my very best, but my child just won’t speak the minority language.” In fact, I hear this claim now and again so it isn’t uncommon. But I think it’s worth keenly reflecting on this sentiment for a moment.

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