Google+ Raising a Trilingual Child: April 2013

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Bilingual child: when to start reading to your baby?


My kids learn how to read words, when they were about 3 years old. When parents ask me when I started reading aloud to them and seek an advice on when they should start reading to their own child, I answer  - as early as possible and before your baby learns to roll over. Do you know why?
Baby readingThe moment a child rolls over the world becomes so big for him, that a book, no matter how colorful  it is, would be just one of the hundreds of objects he briefly looks at. 

I could see this happening with my young daughter. I missed that period and had to wait about 4-5 month until she was ready for serious reading.

If your child learns how great the books are before exploring the world on the tummy,  you will have his attention while reading also during those exiting discovery times. Reading during those month will allow him to build a richer vocabulary and create a solid base for correct speaking.

I started reading to my first child when he was 4 month old. However, I did it not for him but for myself.  Since I mostly spoke foreign languages  I had difficulties starting speaking the minority language - Russian - to him.

Try it ! Reading is so much fun and the results are amazing!
 
According to Dr. John Hutton of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center , "... reading exposure during the critical stage of development prior to kindergarten seems to have a meaningful, measurable impact on how a child's brain processes stories and may help predict reading success."   
Researches found increased activity in the areas of the brain that are essential to verbal language development and reading, and to imagery. Thus, confirming once more the already existing theories on importance of visualization in understanding stories and developing reading skills.

Does it make any sense to you? Would you start reading to your child earlier?
and if you did, what do you think about it?

You might also like :


How to read to a child? Advice for parents of monolingual, bilingual or multilingual children.
 

9 Steps of Raising a Bilingual Child Successfully. How to Start So You Don't Feel Giving It Up Halfway Through.
 

How much time do we have to influence a child's minority language development?  


Naming languages with their proper name.  


7 principles to keep in mind while teaching your child to read. 





List of children's books in Polish language - Lista książek po Polsku dla dzieci  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Exposing our kids to languages

Narrow street in Italy
Since our multilingual family lives in Italy, Italian is the language kids hear most of the time.  It is also the language they speak with the father, who is Italian. I am the mother and speak Russian with them and English with my husband.

I already see some advantages for bilingual kids hearing the parents speaking a third language:
  • understanding conversation on intuitive level (more about Passive listening and language learning);
  • pronouncing words correctly ( I started teaching my children English once a week);
  • decreasing the exposure to the majority language

and I hope later at school our children will be able to learn English fast as well.

We have chosen a "one parent - one language" approach; however, we both read English books to our kids and sing English songs from time to time. 

Multilingual family language knowledge:
Mother - Russian, English , Italian, German
Father - Italian, English, German, Russian, French
Children - Russian, Italian, some English

What are your language groups?

You might also like reading:

 Life Story: A Journey to Multilingualism.

Planting a language tree. Does passive language learning work?  

7 facts that can determine the language spoken between multilingual siblings. 

Life Story: Trilingual mama - trilingual kid. Why would it be any other way?  

Monday, April 15, 2013

How To Raise a Bilingual or Multilingual child. Where to start?


Woman expecting bilingual child


Are you expecting a baby?

You have many questions:
What I need to do first?
What language should I speak to my bilingual baby?
I speak several languages, should I pass them all onto my child? Should I bring up my baby trilingual or multilingual?
Are three language too much for my baby's brain?

Here you will find information that will help you answer all this questions and make some important  decisions regarding your family's language strategy in the future.

Let's start from the first steps of bilingual baby planing that you should follow before your baby is born.


1. Plan ahead.  
Yes! If you are thinking to bring up a bilingual baby you should plan ahead and  have   your family language strategy  figured out and ready, while your baby is still in your womb.

2. Read related literature.
There are many interesting books written about raising bilingual children that help to understand what method is best for your particular case.
I used as a guide line  Raising a Bilingual Child  by Barbara Pearson & 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child by Naomi Steiner ( it is more for parents who would like to teach a language they do speak little or don't speak). You can also find more information on Language Strategies page and in the articles, written by me and by other parents on  this website.
And check the books I reselected here.

3. Discuss your ideas with your partner.
It is important to do as you might discover that your partner has a different view.

4. Write the action plan.
The languages you would like to teach. Set the minimum and maximum goal for each of them.

5. Wait for your baby to come out and go head and implement it!
Good Luck!

Articles to prepare you for your bilingual baby:

(click on either a link or a picture to read the article)







Can babies distinguish foreign languages?

Bilingualism and speech delay. How can you help?

Do you and your partner speak to each other in a language different from the one you plan to speak to your child? Planting a language tree. Does passive language learning work?




 

Get inspired by reading bilinguals and multilinguals life stories:





Life Story: Trilingual mama - trilingual kid. Why would it be any other way?  
 
Life story: A Journey to Multilingualism.

Life Story: A language story that spans two centuries.


Are you still uncertain how many language to speak to your baby ? or Do you wonder how many languages can a baby learn?


Pros and Cons of raising a trilingual child

One Parent Speaks Two Languages. Raising a Trilingual Child. 

Are you a non-native speaker and would like to raise a bilingual child?

 












Non-native Speaker Raising Bilingual Children. Is It Doable?


Sunday, April 14, 2013

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