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Learning together: How parents can support bilingual education at home

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Raising bilingual children (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Raising bilingual children.
  • How to incorporate learning at home.
  • Celebrate bilingual kids!

Bilingual education at home can bridge languages and cultures, opening up a world of opportunities for children.

It’s not just about learning words — it’s about understanding and communicating in a way that enriches a child’s world view.

Parents play a crucial role in this educational journey, using tools and strategies to make learning a second language a natural part of daily life.

This is a roadmap for parents looking to support their children’s bilingual growth with simple, effective methods.

Turning home into a bilingual hub

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Raising bilingual children is like planting a garden with two kinds of flowers — it takes care and patience to see them both bloom.

Talk to your kids in both languages during different parts of the day, maybe English at breakfast and Spanish at dinner.

Use everyday moments, like sorting laundry or setting the table, to name objects and actions in both languages.

Over time, your kids will start to switch between languages just as easily as they switch from walking to running.

Culture spices up language learning

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Languages are more than just words; they’re the colors of diverse cultures that make the world a beautiful place.

When you celebrate a traditional holiday, cook a meal from a different country, or sing a song in another language, you’re giving your kids a taste of that culture.

These experiences will stick in their memories, and the language will stick, too, just like their favorite songs or stories.

The richer the cultural experience, the more they’ll understand and want to use the language.

Technology helps with raising bilingual children

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Screens can be more than just a way to watch cartoons — they can be windows to new words and sounds.

Let your kids play with language apps that turn learning into a game, where every level up is a new set of words mastered.

Watching educational videos together can be a time for cuddles and learning, as they sing along or repeat catchy phrases.

By choosing the right apps and videos, you turn screen time into a fun and productive part of their day.

Books take you on a journey with every page

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Every book you read with your child in a second language is a journey through a world of new words.

As you read, pause to talk about the pictures and ask your child what they think will happen next, encouraging them to use the new language.

By discussing the story, you’re helping them think in the language, not just translate from their first one.

And because stories are fun, they’ll be learning without even realizing it.

Regular practice makes perfect

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Just like watering a plant helps it grow, speaking a second language every day helps your child’s skills grow.

Set a special ‘language time’ where the whole family talks and plays in the second language, making it a part of your daily routine.

This could be during a walk, while playing a board game, or even while driving to school.

Consistency is key when it comes to raising bilingual children. The more they practice, the more natural the language will feel.

Learning is better together

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Finding friends who are also learning the same language can turn practice into playtime.

Look for local language clubs or playgroups where your child can make friends and practice the language in a fun setting.

These groups provide a chance for your child to use the language in new and exciting ways, boosting their confidence.

Plus, it’s a great way for you to connect with other parents and share tips and experiences.

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