Pin It
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids

By
Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids via Shutterstock

Raising bilingual kids can often be hard work to ensure the child is getting enough exposure in the second language. While no parents mean to discourage their kids, make sure their enthusiasm stays on track by avoiding these big mistakes.

 

1. Correcting them: Children that are corrected too much in their second language will be reluctant to speak out of fear they will say something wrong. Some correction in the form of guidance is okay, but don’t correct every single thing they say wrong.

 

2. Making fun: I know no one means to maliciously make fun of their own children, but even teasing them about their accent, pronunciation or laughing at cute little things they may say wrong in another language can discourage them. Children respond best to a nurturing environment and will likely clam up if they feel you are poking fun.

 

3. Quizzing and drills: While tempting to make sure the language is really in their heads and on track, this does not encourage your child to talk. Children need to be engaged not grilled. Follow their interests and leads instead of drilling them in your preset agenda. They love to tell their own stories. Above all, make learning a language fun, not a test!

 

This information was adapted from a presentation given by Barbara Zurer Pearson, author of Raising a Bilingual Child (Living Language Series).

© 2013, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Around the World in One Semester

Welcome to our newest blogger--a world traveling, homeschooling mom--to the InCultureParent family!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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!

3 Comments
  1. CommentsAnnika / Be Bilingual   |  Tuesday, 27 August 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Stephanie – this is right on!! I agree that these are the 3 big ones. If I had to look for a 4th one I would probably add showing off the children’s skills to other people, asking them to perform like circus animals…I’ve seen this so many times and it just tells me that the reasons behind raising bilingual children are not the right ones, you know?

  2. Comments3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids | broadyesl   |  Wednesday, 28 August 2013 at 8:43 am

    […] In Culture Parent link Share with your […]

  3. Comments3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids | Mazzocchi ESL   |  Thursday, 29 August 2013 at 5:35 am

    […] 3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids […]









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.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More Raising Bilingual Children