It’s hard to believe, but this blog is now nearly 10 years old! My very first post was on September 1, 2012 when my kids were just 8 and 5! Today they’re 18 and 15!
Since that first post, there have been 488 more! And among this total of 489 posts, the top 10 posts, in terms of page views, are these. I’ll list the links from 10 to 1.
10. 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.
9. The Top 5 Regrets of Parents Who Have Had Difficulty Raising Bilingual Kids
In the nearly 20 years I’ve worked with bilingual children and families, I’ve noticed certain patterns of regret in parents that have struggled to achieve their aim of raising a bilingual child. Of course, these observations are based only on my personal experience, but they may offer some useful food for thought when it comes to taking effective action.
8. 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…
7. Do This One Simple Thing and I Guarantee You Greater Success On Your Bilingual Journey
The idea is surprisingly simple, even obvious, and, at first glance, it may not seem to hold the sort of power I’m suggesting. But believe me, and this is the honest truth: When it comes to my personal efforts to raise bilingual children, this is the single most powerful part of the whole equation, the very foundation of my experience which gives greater fuel to all the other actions I take, day after day after day.
6. 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
5. 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.
4. 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. With this post, I hope to boil the problem down into 7 essential steps that will enable busy parents to conceptualize this issue clearly and take effective action in order to realize even greater success on their bilingual journey.
3. 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 do this?
2. What to Do When Your Bilingual Child Won’t Speak Your Language
Let me begin this important post with a little story…
Not long ago I bumped into another American father in town, cradling his newborn daughter. His other two children, of elementary school age, were playing nearby. As we talked about our children, and naturally touched on our efforts to support the development of their minority language—English for us—it became apparent that he was feeling some frustration over the fact that his older kids seem to understand his English, for the most part, but typically respond only in Japanese.
1. My Best Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids
This popular post is now bigger and better than ever! With 50 tips, and over 6,000 words, you’ll find a wealth of ideas to help strengthen your success in bringing up bilingual children. You can also freely download the whole post as a handy PDF file for saving, printing, and sharing!
BONUS POST: 45 Key Questions Every Parent Raising a Bilingual Child Should Ask
These important questions are from the Reader’s Guide to the book Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and are tied to the “Perspectives” and “Principles” found in this book. Ask and address the questions in this comprehensive “checklist” to strengthen your efforts and your success at raising bilingual children.