Tips For Raising Bilingual Kids

We are a bilingual English/Spanish household. If you had told us that five years ago, we likely would have laughed. Both adults in our house failed our high school Spanish classes. However, when we became a family via adoption, we knew we wanted our tiny human to speak Spanish in addition to English. Today we want to share a few tips we have picked up over the past almost 20 months.

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It is never too early, or too late, to start introducing a new language! A child will learn better if they are exposed to two languages from a young age, but if you make the decision to raise a bilingual child later on in their lives, that is okay as well!

Do not compare your bilingual child to children who speak only one language. This one is so hard as a parent! Our daughter speaks the required eight to ten words for her age, but not much beyond that. She does have a wonderful understanding of the words she uses. We can ask her to say hello to someone and instead we get an “hola”. It doesn’t matter if we say “come here” or “ven aqui”, she will come running. Well, if she is in the mood that is! If you have any concerns about your child’s speech patterns, please consult a physician just in case!

Your second language skills do not have to be perfect to raise bilingual children. Every person in our house is learning together. We do a lot of YouTube learning during nap time. We also try to do half of our limited media time in Spanish. We are far from fluent, but can now have a basic conversation. As our daughter gets older, our skills get better.

Use bilingual children’s books as a tool! Our daughter  loves to be read to in Spanish. Sometimes its a bit painful on momma’s part, but the books we use also have English text, which helps us all learn! Here are some suggestions.

 

It might not be easy, but it will be worth it. There have been times in this journey where we considered giving it up. People in our lives have expressed concern about us possibly confusing our child. None of that mattered the first time our daughter said a word in Spanish. Her first Spanish word was “Aqui”. We were so proud, but more importantly, she was very proud of her little self.

 

There are many great bilingual momma’s with blogs out there! Check out a few of them below!

By Cluadya

Hispana Global

De Su Mama

 

 

We hope that sharing this little part of our language journey will help you with yours. Please feel free to comment below with tips or stories you have about your bilingual families!

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Tips For Raising Bilingual Kids”

  1. I think it’s easier in our household to teach my nephew a second language. We are from the Philippines, and our mother-tongue is Filipino. We speak that language all the time so it’s obvious he’ll learn that. As for English, it’s basically the second language here. He hears it all the time (inside and outside the house). The materials that we have are 90% in English so he’s easily exposed to it. Not to mention what he sees on screen.
    I think it’s really beneficial for a child to learn a second language. 😊 Good luck! Or should I say Buena Suerte? 😁

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    1. In the US, other languages are not encouraged nearly as much as in most other countries. Schools do not expect kids to speak multiple languages. I feel like it puts us at a huge disadvantage! Our reasons for wanting our daughter to speak fluent Spanish as an adult are cultural, but I feel like it will also be a benefit career wise as well someday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Knowing a second language is beneficial career-wise. 😊 I also read somewhere that bilingual people are more open minded and more empathetic. There’s a whole lot of articles and studies about it. 😊
        But for us, we just want to expose my nephew to as many experiences as possible. Language, included.

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  2. This is awesome! My husband and I don’t know any other languages, except the few words here and there from high school and college foreign language classes. I think it’s so great to raise children knowing two languages, it’s so helpful.

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  3. This is a great post which gives me great tips. My kids should be bilingual, they do understand French but they only answer us in English.

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  4. I think most children here are raised (and I suppose almost all adults are) multilingual – English, French from school and the language of their home country. It’s so interesting to hear different conversations in the subway. Very few of them English lol. It adds to the colour and richness of life.

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  5. This is so interesting because I think it must be very challenging – but so rewarding – to raise bilingual kids. It’s great that they’ll know more than one language. We should all grow up that way.

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  6. I love that you’re learning together. I think many people are intimidated to teach a second language because they themselves aren’t proficient. Embracing learning together is a great idea.

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  7. This is so awesome! I wish I had taught my kids another language as it is so important. I love that you’re learning together too!

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