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Recommended Resources: “Raising a Bilingual Child”

Raising a Bilingual ChildWhen 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

How about you? Have you read “Raising a Bilingual Child”? Or other books on bilingualism that have benefited you and your children?

4 Responses

  1. Hello,
    I am currently reading “Guide a l’usage des parents d’enfants bilingues” from “Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer”. I am not sure if there is an English edition, but it is quite compelling and the author cites a great number of International studies that make it very valuable for a parent that is not sure how to pursue bilingualism. It has for example, raised my awareness to the difference between the “heart tongue” and the “mother tongue”. One might have loving memories of a grandma or nanny whom had a different language than the school or environment language (mother tongue)…

    Her website: I am not sure if her latest book is available in English yet.



    1. Isabelle, thank you for the helpful tip. If I had taken French beyond high school, I would be very tempted to read the book—it sounds really interesting. :mrgreen: I’d be eager to read an English version!

  2. Oh, Adam!!! So you read this book also and it was your first step, just like my case…what an amazing happy coincidence. Besides, since I re-read the book during my pregnancy, to pay closer attention and take notes, I gotta confess that I highlighted this part also, I think I wrote it in Spanish in my notebook and posted it on my Instagram account: My second step will be to read your book and the third could be write my own book to inspire parents from Colombia—born and living here—to travel with confidence in this bilingual journey. Just fantasizing, so far, since I’m just at the very beginning of the adventure, but yeah…why not?

    1. Caro, I’ll be eager to hear your impressions of my book! And, yes, why not eventually write a book about your own experience, which could surely be helpful to others? It’s a lovely vision and I applaud your enthusiasm!

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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

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 popular books Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and Bilingual Success Stories Around the World. I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for 25 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 19 and 16. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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