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!
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!