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Q&A: Two family languages, children want to speak only one

Q&A: Two family languages, children want to speak only one

Question Hi, I was wondering if you could give me some feedback on how to encourage my passive bilingual kids to “produce” or speak the minority language in our home. I have 4 children ages 10, 9, 6 and 4. Both my husband and I are bilingual English/Arabic speakers. I am a native speaker of […]

Q&A: How to make best use of videos for a bilingual toddler and how to motivate talking?

Q&A: How to make best use of videos for a bilingual toddler and how to motivate talking?

Question Hello and thank you for the blog! I am a second generation Swedish speaker (Swedish mother) that has only been to Sweden for holidays and I live in Canada. Now I am trying to teach my 3.5-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter Swedish. I’ve been speaking Swedish on and off since my son was born […]

4 reasons why your bilingual child answers in the “wrong” language

4 reasons why your bilingual child answers in the “wrong” language

Getting an answer in the “wrong” language is something which especially minority language parents dread, and which gives rise to question such as: – Is it the start of a slippery slope which may end in the majority language taking over as the language of communication in our family? – Have I not done enough […]

Q&A: Motivating a child to use minority language & using different languages with siblings

Q&A: Motivating a child to use minority language & using different languages with siblings

Question My daughter is 2.5 yrs. I have only spoken to her in Spanish her whole life (we live in the US) her mother, a stay-at-home mom, only speaks English. If I press her, she will speak in Spanish, but she always responds in English unless I refuse to listen unless she says it in […]

Q&A: How to motivate a preschooler to talk the minority language

Q&A: How to motivate a preschooler to talk the minority language

Question I have 2 boys (3.5 and 2 yo) growing up in the US. My husband and I speak different languages (French and Cantonese) exclusively to the children since birth. However, we speak English to each other because neither one of us knows the other’s language well enough. Until my 3-year-old went to preschool, he […]

On bilingual children at school and how to keep your kids speaking your language (Google Hangout)

How to prepare your little bilingual for school? What to do if you get a response in the wrong language? Should you follow the teacher’s advice to drop your home language? These are some of the questions that Marianna Du Bosq from Bilingual Avenue and I answered during our broadcast on International Mother Language Day. […]

Q&A: Bilingual toddler stops speaking

Q&A: Bilingual toddler stops speaking

Question Hello, I have an 18-month-old. I speak only English to him. My husband spoke English and Spanish to him for the first 15 months and then decided to speak solely Spanish to him. He has been speaking to him only in Spanish since then. He started saying his first words around 11 months and […]

Q&A: Our son only answers in English

Q&A: Our son only answers in English

Question Our son is 3 years old and we live in England. Since he was born, my partner and I have spoken to him in English and our first language Portuguese. I speak English to him because English and Portuguese are my first languages and his dad speaks mostly Portuguese to him. He goes to full-time […]

Patience – a must-have for parents of bilingual children

Patience – a must-have for parents of bilingual children

Yes, I am stating the obvious – of course, all parents need patience! As a mother or father of a bilingual child, there will however be times when you need an extra helping of this specific virtue. By applying lots of patience, you will succeed in keeping the family languages alive! Good character is not […]

When your bilingual child goes to school…

When your bilingual child goes to school…

… do you worry about what will happen with the minority language? Whether it will still be the means of communication between you and your child, or whether the majority language will take over? If you are a bit concerned, you are not alone, but there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and […]