It Takes a Village to Raise a Bilingual Child
When I talk about my child’s bilingual journey I often express how I was the “only one” who spoke the heritage language, how we were immersed completely in the community language; and how challenging it was, but in retrospect I realize I didn’t raise a bilingual child by myself… it took a village!
I could have not done this without rallying up the troops directly or indirectly. You may be asking, how do you rally up someone indirectly? Read along, and I’ll tell you how.
- Immersion classes – I’ve said this over, and over again enrolling my child in a language immersion class kick-started his language learning. Remember, we started his journey late! His language coach was wonderful, and he loved learning Spanish!
- Online community – I often turned to a group of amazing mommas from all walks of life, who were also raising bilingual, and multilingual children for advice.
- Spanish playgroup – I was blessed to have met some friends with children who spoke the minority language, hence the Spanish playgroup was created!
- Extended family – although at a distance they were a great support system especially little one’s Abuela and Titi Gladys. They often sent books, and materials in Spanish to aid him in his language journey.
- Immersion trip to our language heritage country – Being immersed and surrounded by the now community language (Spanish) worked wonders for our son. Listening to everyone from the flight attendant to our family members helped him in ways you can’t even imagine. Even weeks after returning from our trip he started saying words in Spanish that he had heard.
- Non-bilingual friends – these are the troops that I rallied indirectly! By creating a Spanish Summer Camp Language Program for my son’s (English only) preschool friends helped and boosted his language learning. He was my li’l helper during the program, and he taught his non-bilingual friends Spanish. This boosted his confidence by leaps and bounds. We also had bilingual playdates with non-bilingual friends for the same reason.
I was never really alone in little one’s bilingual journey I had a village all along, and I have many people to thank for making this journey an amazing one! ¡Gracias! Thank you!
This post was created for inclusion in this month’s “Raising Multilingual Children: Blogging Carnival” hosted by Marianna from Bilingual Avenue.
Do you have a village to help you in raising a bilingual/multilingual child? Please share!