Pin It
Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Why Bilingual Children Prefer A Certain Language With Adults


I learned from the Speaking in Tongues film blog (which I am very excited to finally get to see this upcoming weekend) that Pyschology Today has a new blog on bilingualism, written by the expert, François Grosjean.


His most recent article is a fascinating look at why children connect languages to a particular person and why they are so adamant about it. If you have ever tried to switch your usual language with a young child, you will know exactly what I mean. On occasion, I have tried to use an Arabic word or two with my girls, and they always grow silent and look at me like I have 10 heads, as if I have done something very weird and very wrong. When I brought a copy of Goodnight Moon home from the library in Spanish, my oldest told me she didn’t like the book like that, which I assumed was because she was used to listening to it in English. But it was deeper than that. When I persisted and asked her a few questions in both Spanish and English, she told me, totally unamused, “Don’t talk like that.” It was more that she preferred hearing me only in English.


You can check out this great aricle here:

© 2011 – 2012, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?

Fancy schools, international vacations, foreign language books, DVDs and tutors add up fast

How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband

And why this is the number one fight in our household

Ramadan Star and Moon Craft

A craft recycled from your kid's art work!


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

More from Our Bloggers