I’ve met so many parents who want their children to be bilingual. Whether it’s because extended family speaks a second language or because the parents know how beneficial bilingualism is, I see many, many people who value bilingualism. But, there are often a lot of unknowns around raising children to be bilingual. There are myths that need to be dispelled and there are challenges in the education system to overcome. Most schools across the USA don’t offer foreign language classes until students reach junior high school. And for those of us who went through these classes, we all know how dismal our fluency was after the fact.
I’m going to focus my next few blog posts on the steps you can take to set your child up for success in learning your heritage language, or even learning a language which you may not speak. I, for example, learned Spanish and Portuguese as an adult. I still have a slight American twang when I speak, but I can read, write, speak, and teach in these languages. And, being multilingual is one of the accomplishments of which I’m most proud.
Also, and I know it sounds like this blog post is full of brags and bravados, but I do want to announce that in the next few months, my book on bilingualism for children birth to five will be coming out. I offer all of the language building techniques that come from my work as a speech therapist, my experience teaching English abroad, my time as an assistant librarian in a dual language university and as a university instructor on the subject. The book is full of thrills and moments of suspense...oh dear, no, that’s the Jo Nesbø books I’m thinking of. But the book is full of good, easy to digest information. And hopefully some smiles but very little in the way of suspense. Keep an eye out for those updates and be eligible for a special discount as one of my email subscribers.
Finally, even though I speak with Spanish speakers on a regular basis, I rarely speak with people who will either correct me or guide me to finding the best word or saying when I need it. I began to take online Spanish (and Portuguese) tutoring a few weeks back when I realized how much I want to take my language to the next level. I have begun taking lessons through Rype. The teachers are professionals so that you get the most out of your time and money. And they pay their tutors fairly! Very important. For those of you considering brushing up on your language(s), I highly recommend Rype. There are also tutors who are experts in working with children, so if your child needs some extra practice with a tutor, then look no further. You can click on this link to try them out free for seven days: RYPE
**This is an affiliate link which means I earn a small amount of commission should you choose to go through Rype and at no extra cost to you. I only endorse businesses I believe in, and this is one of them!