I was enjoying a quiet snowy morning two days ago when I started writing this…although my day did not actually start very relaxed. Frankie was up at 4:30am the night before due to teething :/ And then took forever to go down for his morning nap. Last night was also tough. But Mama had some extra coffee today and got to finish this post today!
You may know that I was born in Paraguay and speak Spanish fluently. It was important for my husband and I to make sure Frankie grew up learning some Spanish too. However, the fact that I speak mostly English makes it very difficult for me to stick to just speaking to him in Español. I find myself reverting back to English when I can’t think of something fast enough.
The other day, I joined a virtual Facebook event on raising bilingual kids. Have you ever joined any of those before? They’re so great for busy people because you can click “Going” and then just read the posts when you have a chance, from your couch, in your sweats. The event was hosted by the site Tinyhood and the advise came from Chontelle Bonfiglio, English teacher, mom to 2 bilingual boys, and Creator of Bilingual Kidspot, a website offering practical advice for parents raising bilingual children. She addressed some questions that most parents have and I summarize a few below:
Q- Will my child have a speech delay?
A- No, it’s been proven that bilingual kids develop their language skills the same as monolingual kids. In fact, regular experience with 2 different languages has been actually linked to social and cognitive advantages.
Q- Should each parent speak one language to the child?
A-Sure. This is called the OPOL method (it’s what we try to follow) – One Person One Language. It’s important to be consistent with this to make sure the new language gets exposure.
Q- What if my child can’t communicate with friends and kids at the playground?
A- You can use the MLAH method – Minority Language at Home. In this case, you make the “second” language your home language, and English the Community Language. Chontelle also points out that kids, depending on their age, will usually still play with each other irregardless of what language they speak.
Q- What if I’m trying to teach my child another language and they refuse to speak it?
A- You can try to encourage them to do so, especially if you know they understand what you’re saying, by using a puppet, doll or teddy bear that “only speaks Spanish”, for example. If you make a game out of it, they may be more likely to respond.
I thought these tips were great and wanted to share them with you 🙂
If you have kids, are you teaching them another language or what language would you like for them to learn one day?
Now, here is a workout I did the other day. Very simple but it’ll get your heart pumping fast! You’ll just need a kettlebell but you can also use a dumbbell or even a plate if that’s all you have.
20 Mt Climbers
1 Tuck Jumps
2 Kettlebell Swings
20 Mt Climbers
1 Tuck Jump
3 Kettle Swings
20 Mt Climbers
1 Tuck Jump…
all the way up to 15 Kettlebell Swings (same number of Mt Climbers and Tuck Jump)
What do you think?!
2 thoughts on “Raising a Bilingual Baby”
We aren’t bilingual, however i have always wondered how it works if we were. I like these ideas though especially since i have always wondered if there will be a primary language spoken but with the opol method, it will be balanced out.
Yes, it seems that either a primary one or a balance works. That makes sense to me as long as the child is still quite young. Thank you for reading! 🙂