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I Need Help! Ask A Linguist

Ask A Linguist

Dear Dr. Gupta, I am not sure what to do about my niece’s English and Spanish. She has grown up in a bilingual environment. Her Mom speaks to her only in Spanish and her Dad in a mix of English...
Are we doing more harm than good if our grammar is weak in a second language that we are speaking to our infant?
We live in Spain and while at home, we typically only speak English, recently my toddler started mixing English and Spanish. Is that ok?
My children are 4 and 7 years old and we live in Australia. My first language was Russian, though I was born and raised in Australia and I remember being sent to kindergarten and school not knowing English—an experience I found terrible and isolating.
How do you suggest a parent work with, while protecting, her children from the strong pressures to conform to making English dominant in one’s head, in the context of the U.S. and Japan? U.S. bilingualism is short lived. Japanese bilingualism is even shorter.
I am an adoptive parent raising my son, Oakley, in non-native Spanish. Increasingly, I have moments where I feel like I can't keep on speaking to Oakley in Spanish. I'm exhausted.
I am a native English speaker who married a native Spanish speaker. We want our kids to be bilingual, but we are very torn on which method to use.
We speak Mandarin at home in the U.S. but I am of Italian origin and would like my daughter to speak some Italian. Should I change languages, even though I like speaking Mandarin and it feels awkward to speak Italian to her?
This couple is trying to decide on a bilingual or trilingual approach to parenting. Read why Dr. Gupta advises them to choose bilingual.
Is four languages too much?
I am Italian and unfortunately my two kids, who are nine and 13, don't speak Italian. I understand they will never be fluent and will always have an accent, but I wonder if it is too late to start speaking to them in Italian
We are an OPOL family, speaking Italian (father), Cantonese Chinese (mother) and English (between the parents) at home. For Christmas I bought myself a device to stream TV from China but find that it is mostly in Mandarin, not Cantonese. Should I let my daughter watch?
Dear Dr. Gupta, my three-year-old child speaks English everywhere and with my husband at home, and Portuguese with me. I recently noticed that she is adding more and more English words in her conversation with me and forgetting Portuguese words that are common in her world, such as the names of colors and animals. What can I do?
We want to raise our daughters bilingual so I speak Spanish and my husband speaks English. The reality is my three-year-old understands Spanish but only speaks English. We want her to speak Spanish. Help!
My bilingual five-year-old daughter was learning to read in English and then my husband started teaching her to read in French. She lost all interest in reading in either language now. Is there an easier way to teach French reading? Should I insist my husband back off on pushing French reading as she will learn this in school next year anyway to rekindle her interest in English reading?
I have a burning question. How many languages is too many? I ask because we are a trilingual family English/French/Spanish. We have decided on homeschooling this September with our two girls, in part to up the time spent with Spanish, the minority language in our house. The thing is, the families in our homeschool coop may end up being more interested in Mandarin, which we are surrounded by living in Asia.
The oldest just turned six, she is in Kindergarten and just received her IOWA test of basic skills results. She did very well overall but her vocabulary skills were well below all of her other skills. Is this common in bilingual kids?
Is it worthwhile to speak to my baby in my native Cantonese with the hope that he will acquire some of the language even though I only have rudimentary fluency (grade school level)?
Should we pick a kindergarten that offers language or skip language for now because of my daughter's expressive speech delay?
Is it worth picking a language I know and teaching my daughter words and phrases alongside her native English or would this just be confusing?
We're moving to an English-speaking country soon and are wondering if we should switch to minority-language-at-home to maximise German exposure?
Her son is going into first grade but a spot opened up in the Korean immersion program but for kindergarten only. His older system attends the program. Korean is important to the family.
I speak Spanish. My wife speaks Italian. We are raising our son in the U.S. Is 3 languages too many when he is really young?
My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day. How can I ensure they will speak it?
See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

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