Whether you’re a parent, expecting, or just aren’t quite there yet, it’s not hard to see how raising a bilingual child can be difficult. There are a lot of different reasons why you may be wanting to raise your child to speak multiple languages, but the going can be tough, and sometimes it might not feel worth it. In this article, we’ll go over a few reasons why raising bilingual children is an amazing opportunity for both you and them, but also some of the different challenges that it prevents, and a few tips on how to get through them.
When it comes to knowing multiple languages, the benefits are extraordinary. Knowing two languages will more than likely get you a lot of free credits throughout school, since classes that teach your native language will be an absolute breeze for you. This isn’t just limited to high school elective credits though. Not only do most colleges like to see that you’ve taken and know a second language, but you can do the same thing there for a lot of easy elective credits, if you need them.
After school, knowing two languages is an amazing plus to have on your resume, and will more than likely get you a raise as well, if you work in a customer service environment. It also opens up international job opportunities for you as well. But let’s take a step back and look at the growth stage. As a child, learning two languages at the same time can be a little rough, and there’s a lot to remember. However, since growth is happening so rapidly, this is the best time to learn, since you’re extremely impressionable. It also means that being challenged in a way that’s necessary for you to be able to communicate, will build critical thinking, and help develop the brain.
As amazing as growing up bilingual is, there are definitely reasons why it’s not done more. Bottom line is, teaching your child two languages at the same time is hard. For example, how do you establish the difference between the two languages? How do you balance the two languages in a way that one doesn’t dominate the other?
There are a lot of different factors to consider. One of the biggest, being that your child will be surrounded by others speaking the native language of your region. If you live in the United States, your child will constantly be surrounded by English speakers in school. This means that you don’t need to worry about teaching it as much in the home environment, but you need to make sure that they also have the tools they need to be successful outside of the household.
A popular way to balance languages, is to have one guardian speak one language to them, and the other a different one. For example, the dad only speaks English to their son, while the mom only speaks Spanish.