When I first begun this journey of raising bilingual children, I thought I had it all figured out. I figured it would be extremely easy to have my children speak multiple languages! I just couldn’t understand why parents who spoke multiple languages had children who didn’t speak those same language. Must be laziness, right? Boy, I just didn’t know how hard this journey would be!
Experience is the best teacher. The more children hear, see and do; the more they will learn. One of the best ways to teach language is to create engaging and fun experiences in which children can use all of their five senses.
Every year on February 24th we celebrate World Read Aloud Day, an initiative by LitWorld, a literacy non-profit that advocates internationally for every child’s right to literacy. People from every corner of the world will get together at home, school, and work in order to share stories and encourage a global community of readers.
Kid’s have one job to do: Play. It’s the most important thing they do in order to learn and develop. Many of us adults underestimate the value of it. When kid’s play they learn to foster relationships, get along with each other, settle disputes, self-regulate, problem solve, use their imaginations, and of course, they are learning language.
We have all heard how kids are brilliant at learning new languages. Their brains are wired to do just so and the earlier they learn a new language, the greater the likelihood they will achieve native status in it. But if it’s so easy for them to learn, then why don’t more children speak multiple languages? Why do so many second and third generation children of immigrants not speak the native language of their parents?