Raising a Bilingual Child: Finding Support in Your Local Community
If you are planning on raising a multilingual child, you are going to need support! While this is a long journey, you are not alone!
Many parents, like ourselves, are excited to take on the task of teaching multiple languages. At some point we all realize that the more support we have in this effort, the better. In fact, research shows that children learn best when they have support in their local community while growing up learning multiple languages.
There are many reasons why finding this type of support is so important. One of the many reasons experts suggest finding support is because variability in language is important for language growth and development. This means it is essential that your child interacts with numerous different speakers of the languages they are learning. This will help them develop proficiency in both languages.
It is so important to find support in your local community when raising a bilingual child, and here are some of our favorite ways parents can do this.
Look For Language Playgroups
If you have younger children, search for dual language playgroups and mom groups. You may be surprised by how many different multilingual groups there are! Taking part in these playgroups will give your little one extra exposure and will help you build a local network of parents you can lean on.
Check Our Your Library's Story Times
Many libraries will also offer multilingual story time as well, so make sure to check in with your local library. This is not only a great way to expose your child to a foreign language in a fun way, but a way to encourage your child to interact with their peers using their minority language. Your local libraries may even offer bilingual books for babies and toddlers that you can take home to read and continue practicing Spanish for more exposure.
At events like this, you can also connect with other parents who understand what you are doing and going through as you raise a bilingual child. Perhaps they've even borrowed bilingual books for kids at the library that they can recommend for your little one!
If you have the opportunity to enroll your child in a minority language class with other children, this can be a great way to support their bilingual adventure. Many times, school and local universities will offer summer programs for children looking to learn a new language. Many of these classes are offered even for young children and toddlers.
Immersion classes like this can include singing, dancing, playing and learning. It not only gives your child additional exposure to their minority language, but it can help them meet friends and peers who are also growing up bilingual!
At Binibi, we know that the process of teaching children a second language is often complex and multi-faceted. However, when children have multiple tools, approaches and exposures helping them learn, it not only makes the process more fun, it simply works better! Be sure to check out Binibi's bilingual children's sound books and educational resources for parents to help make your bilingualism journey easier and more fun!