By now you may be aware that I am in the process of writing a book on passing on the family languages to your child. Writing a book on the topic of raising your child to speak more than one language has been on my mind for quite a while, but the time has never been right to sit down and actually do it – until now.
So why do I want to share my experience with others? There are several reasons to this – seeing my own daughters grow up to learn the family languages (and a few others!) has been inspirational. Being able to speak more than one language brings so many benefits with it and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on the chance to do so. If parents have the chance to pass on their languages “for free” to their offspring, they should be encouraged to do it and I hope my book will be a source of advice and support for them.
I think that a lot more families could be successful at bringing up bilingual children than what is the case at the moment. I have come across many families where the children can no longer speak the heritage language of the family although their parents are fully fluent in it. In other words, the language skills are lost from one generation to the next. This could be avoided if the parents knew what to pay attention to and how to overcome challenges when they encounter them.
Confidence, consistency and commitment are three of the central components of successfully raising a bilingual child. You need a bit of creativity to tackle the issues you come across, and it is important to pass on your cultural heritage along with the communication skills. And you must not forget to celebrate your multilingual family’s success!
All of the above will be topics in my upcoming book, and I am happy to report that the book is now in its second editing stage and a select few people have read the manuscript. Very exciting!
May the peace and power be with you.
© Rita Rosenback 2013