10 True-False Questions Can Be Answered In How Many Ways Myths About Raising Bilingual Children

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Myths About Raising Bilingual Children

Are you raising a child with more than one language? Congratulations! You are giving your child a gift for life! But you may also encounter many questions and challenges. I bet, you will come across at least one or more of the following myths! Did you know this is a myth? Let’s check and then bust them.

As soon as you start talking about raising bilingual children, you will find that everyone around you has a (different) opinion about it. Over time many of these opinions and half-truths have turned into stubborn myths that have kicked in to confuse and upset passionate parents time and time again. Knowing what’s true and what’s false about raising bilingual children is important to prepare you for any baseless comments that well-meaning friends and family members pass by. Instead of letting comments make you doubt your efforts and let you get off course, you can confidently ignore them or even educate them.

Answer the questions below to see what you currently believe to be true about bilingual children. Just circle the number that most indicates how much you agree with each of these statements (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree) If you raised your child with more than one language.

1. you must put it in two languages ​​or it won’t work ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

2. just confuse him ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

3. Your child’s brain may become confused ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

4. make sure he first learns a language properly ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

5. you don’t have to do much; he will take it immediately ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

6. your child often mixes languages ​​( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

7. Your child will do better in school ( 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 )

Myth #1: You’re confusing your child.

Research has proven that your child will never become confused by growing up with multiple languages ​​each. Our brain can handle many languages ​​and store them in different places. While the languages ​​heard frequently in the first year are stored in a previously designed area in the left side of the brain, all later languages ​​are stored in the right hemisphere.

That being said, it is entirely possible that YOU can confuse your child by changing languages ​​and language strategies (see Step 7) or by mixing languages. With the right knowledge and a consistent strategy you don’t have to worry about confusing your child.

Myth #2: “More than 2 languages” doesn’t work.

If you consider that we only use 5% of our brain, you immediately realize that our brain has enough space and capacity for language learning. While bilingual children are the most common, research has proven that up to 4 languages ​​can be used without problems. 4 languages ​​usually occur in a family with parents who have different native languages, an environment/country that provides a third and a school that provides a fourth language. Among my parent network members I have parents who successfully manage 6 languages ​​for their children. It requires the child to spend time in that language on a regular basis and you can imagine the organization it requires on the part of the parents, so the effort is very high. Such a commitment to languages ​​naturally requires trade-offs in other areas of life (eg sports, arts, schoolwork, etc.) that most families I’ve met are not willing to do. In short, you can raise your child in many languages ​​but you need to commit the effort required to maintain them for a long period of time.

Myth #3: Learn a language properly first.

The earlier you expose your child to all the languages ​​you want him to grow up with, the better. There are many advantages to early exposure and I will discuss them in detail in Step 3. So waiting until your child can speak the first language “properly”, will only waste time and make it difficult for him. And what’s more, I hope you can’t tell me when the “right” thing has been done. How many words, grammar rules equal “correct”?

Myth #4: Your child will only mix languages

In fact, you can expect your child to mix languages ​​temporarily until age 4, using the vocabulary that is most readily available. This is completely normal and there is nothing to worry about – as long as you don’t mix languages. You are your child’s role model and you should provide good language input. Have you ever heard of “garbage in – garbage out”, the same applies here. If you don’t mix languages ​​with your toddler, you can help your child and give the correct word(s) by repeating the sentence, for example in question form using the same correct vocabulary used. of your child – more on this technique later.

Myth #5: You don’t have to do anything; your child will pick up the language soon.

Although it is true that children often pick up languages ​​quickly, successful bilingualism does not just happen. You probably won’t start reading this book if you believe otherwise. There are circumstances that facilitate bilingualism in your children more than others and in the right environment you may feel that you are doing nothing to contribute to your children’s language journey. To understand those circumstances you still need to inform yourself (by reading Step 2 of this book). Doing nothing leaves your children’s bilingualism to chance.

Myth #6: Stop bilingualism when your pediatrician tells you to.

Sometimes families stop raising their children with more than one language because their pediatrician tells them it is better for their child’s speech development, stuttering problem, dyslexia and so on. So, before you drop a language, ask a specialist and get a second opinion.

Myth #7: Bilingual children do worse in school.

Browsing the research studies that have been done on the subject you will find that they conclude that bilingual children do like monolinguals or in fact, they show that bilinguals do better in school. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise unless they have the data to prove it.

How do you feel now – is it completely clear what is myth and what is truth? Do you want to learn more and get your personal success plan for raising your children with more than one language? Visit www.themlnetwork.com/ebook/

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