What does it mean to raise kids bilingual or maybe multilingual?
From an expat point of view you are often confrontated to fell the right decision – for you and your kids. But sometimes the easiest way is to something. Take the first step and be interested. This applies to emigration itself as well as to learn a new language.
What is right and wrong?
The most important thing to successfully educate bilingual children is to give enough incentives for children to learn from them for years. We, as parents, can give these incentives; For example, if we speak directly to our children in a second language. Or we can rely on third parties to offer these incentives, such as when we send our children to a bilingual kindergarten or school. However, it is important not to stress our children. With their motivation and cognitive abilities, they define themselves how far they can go in the development of different languages.
In a bilingual upbringing, there is not a single recipe, a single way, or a promising strategy. The common denominator is “time and perseverance.”
Educating bilingual means being ready for years to give impetus to our children so they can consistently learn our language and culture.
Reading books together or playing games in a different language are easy tools. Meet other expats, even if you are an expat or not, use the variety of our society. Join playgroups and visit playgrounds. Take the first step to communicate with others. Your kids will listen and lose their timidity to interact with others.
Communication is key
Languages are means of communication and, as with any good communication, you need to listen well and be clear in the message you want to send. Communication means the exchange of information, ideas, opinions. The wider the range of topics covered, the more extensive the vocabulary children learn, and the higher the level of language development.
Bilingual education is a special gift for children that brings many benefits, not just when it comes to finding jobs with international profiles. Those who grow bilingual are tolerant of the world and diversity, have an open door to other cultures. The are bridge builders and links between different human groups.
We invite you to come back in a week to read the second part: Bilingual education from 0-3 years