Do bilingual parents have to choose one of their languages to speak with a child? – Parents Article

  Question Hi, I am Wadha from Kuwait. My partner and I live in Kuwait (Arabic is used in the community) and are bilingual parents: Arabic native speakers, but we both speak English as a second language. We have a two-month-old child and are planning to send her to an English international school where all subjects are taught in English, but Arabic language classes are given too. She will learn math, science, English, art, P.E, all in English but will…

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Should parents of bilingual children not speak the majority language at all? – Parents Article

  Question Hello! We are Americans living in Kuopio, Finland (for over 10 years). We have a daughter who is almost 19 months and goes to Finnish päiväkoti (=kindergarten). I was told by the neuvola doctor (paediatrician) to not mix languages and only speak English. We are not fluent (sadly!) anyway, but I am confused why we can’t encourage her speaking the majority languge, Finnish, at home. We understand a lot and I want her to feel comfortable communicating any…

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Should parents raising bilingual children avoid code-switching? – Parents Article

  Hello, My name is Benedicte, and my husband and I are expecting a baby boy in the next few weeks. We live in France and are both bilingual French-English. My husband was raised by an American father and French mother. I was raised by French-speaking parents in Mauritius but went to English-speaking schools. We tend to speak English to each other, but with a lot of French thrown in and a lot of code-switching between the two. We want…

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Others object to you speaking a non-native language with your kids – Parents Article

  Hello I´m a native speaker of Spanish and fluent in English, currently raising a 14-month-old boy in English. I speak to him in English 100% of the time while my husband speaks in Spanish (the community language as we live in Spain). My question is how likely it is that my son will become bilingual since I am not a native speaker of English. Most of what I’ve read is about native speakers raising bilingual children, and the few…

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How to introduce a family language to older children? – Parents Article

  Hello! Thank you for the helpful articles! My husband’s mother is Finnish, and all her family is living in Finland or other parts or Europe. Fortunately, they all speak English well so we all can communicate well. However, my parents are Korean American and although they have lived in the US for almost 40 years, they prefer to speak in Korean, their family language. My kids are now 11 and 13 years old and I really wish I had…

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How to convince a 3-year-old to answer in the minority language? – Parents Article

  Hello I’m British, living in France for the past 13 years. I speak French to my French husband, and we have two girls, a 3-year-old and a new-born. Our 3-year-old was a late speaker (first words at 17 months) and I am the only person who speaks English to her regularly. I am terrified she is going to become or is becoming, a passive bilingual. She understands everything I say to her, but always replies in French. I always…

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How to change a situation where one parent feels left out in a multilingual family? – Parents Article

  Question Hello, My wife and I were ethnically Chinese, but she was mostly raised in Japan and considers her native language Japanese. Before we had our first child, we spoke a mix of Mandarin and English at home. While I have familiarity with Japanese (just catching keywords and such), I do not know the language well enough and unfortunately am not interested in learning. We now have two daughters and I was initially surprised when my wife started speaking…

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How to support a bilingual child with dyslexia? – Parents Article

  Hello, Can you please advise us on the following with regards to a 7-year-old? The boy’s mother is Australian, the father who he visits is Australian. His step father is from Pakistan and speaks Urdu, English and Arabic. The boy has been to Arabic Maktab but was not able to get past the first page after many weeks. Later the Public School got him tested as he was struggling at school and found out he is dyslexic.  The majority in…

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