Parenting tips for kids who are bilingual
IN OUR increasingly multicultural society, families are speaking more than one language and as a result many children are growing up in bilingual home environments.
If your family speaks languages other than English at home, you’ll need to make decisions about how you’ll help your child learn both English and your native language.
This presents its own challenges, but firstly it’s important to remember that each family situation has its own circumstances.
BOTH PARTNERS SPEAK A MINORITY LANGUAGE AT HOME
Families who speak a language other than English at home often worry about its impact on their child’s development and education within Australian society.
It’s important to remember that your child will be learning English out in the community, via the media and at school. Teaching them your native language won’t deprive them of the chance of learning English.
Secondly, various studies have found that raising a bilingual child has many benefits including:
■ Better academic results, including better English results
■ More diverse career opportunities later in life
■ An enhanced sense of self-worth and belonging
■ An understanding of their cultural heritage and identity.
Maybe you speak English, but your partner speaks another native language?
Alternatively, maybe both adults speak a language other than English at home.
The best idea is to have each parent speak in their native language to the child. For example, you might speak English to your child, while your partner talks with them in Mandarin.
Our WBHHS child health team is available to support local families. You can visit the team at the the Bundaberg office. — Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service