There are many reasons parents raise multilingual children. Most of the time, they want their children to easily understand and appreciate cultural references, while sometimes they want them to travel the world and find great career opportunities.
When parents decide to educate their children with different languages, they usually seek the help of international institutions. Sisd.ae cites that most of their students who practice multilingualism come from different cultures. Their exposure to diverse nationalities helps them learn multi-languages, even at an early age.
If you are thinking about raising a multilingual child, here are the steps to follow.
Agree on Multilingualism
It is important that you and your spouse agree on raising a multilingual child. Discuss the pros and cons of the process, and compromise on the issues that you might come across. When you have made a strong decision, seek the advice of other family members and make sure that they support the endeavour.
Choose a Realistic Number
Do you want your child to acquire three languages? How about four? Determine the languages you want your child to learn as he grows up. Remember that his native language comes first, which means that he instantly picks this up at home. When choosing a realistic number, think about the exposure and education that you can provide to your child.
Decide on a Language System
The two most successful language systems are the One Person One Language (OPOL) System, and the Minority Language at Home. Decide on what system to follow or if you will hire an outside source like a language tutor or immersion program. Also, consider the languages that you and your partner can contribute to your child’s learning.
Build a Support Network
Find other parents who are raising multilingual children, and bring them together for discussions and play dates. Apart from helping your child find a group he belongs to, this will also increase your knowledge about multilingualism. Support is always important when it comes to finding opportunities for you and your children.
Raising a multilingual child is a long-term commitment. There will be difficulties that you and your partner should surpass. Do not worry if your child does not speak multiple languages swiftly. Instead, focus on his achievements and assure that he can do better next time. His development depends on you, and the support you give to him.
Hearing your child speak multiple languages is an immensely rewarding experience. The process is tough, but as you help your child develop his verbal skills, you also learn something along the way. Consider this as a unique experience not only for your child, but for your family as well.