Many families in Toronto raising bilingual children and speak a language other than English at home.
Sometimes families will speak even more than one if both parents have a different mother tongue that isn’t English.
If your LO’ goes to an English daycare or school, then you might have the same issue as I have. Sometimes it can be difficult when your kid prefers to use English over the language you speak at home, even when they are speaking to you. Or it can be difficult for your LO’ to use your language correctly.
I truly believe that you should work to keep your LO’ using both your languages and English. Not only because it is excellent for their development, but also because it is essential for them to be able to communicate with our parents, relatives, and friends.
Tips for Raising Bilingual Children
I listed a few tactics that helped me to teach my daughter Hebrew and to keep her using the language. My LO’ goes to full day English daycare and will soon start public school in Toronto.
Here are some ideas how to teach your child to speak your language, expose your child to your language and help him\her keep using the language daily
1. Speak the language
When you speak with your kids, do it in your language. Insist that they answer you in the same language. It will be better if you can speak at home with your partner in your language as well.
2. Introduce new words
When your kid struggles to find a word, or he/she mixes English with a different language together, repeat the sentence the right way and introduce new words for them to use.
Let your kid watch television only in your language. Kids’ TV shows are great when it comes to teaching kids new words. Today you can find any of their favorite television show in many languages online. Same with popular Disney movies.
Introduce your kid to music in your language. From rhythm baby songs to alphabet songs. When you listen to music at home or while driving a car, put music in your language only.
Get your kids books in your language and read your kid stories at home in your language only. If your LO just loves specific books, try to get them the same book in your language.
There are many toys today that teach vocabulary, songs, alphabets and so much more. The toys companies make the same toy in many different languages. You can find toys today online with any language you would like. This is a great learning opportunity for toddlers.
7. Afternoon programs
Look around for local afternoon programs in your language. I know from other moms that there are many programs like that in Toronto.
8. Summer Camp
Take advantage of the summertime and PA days, and instead of registering your kid to a generic program, register them to a unique program in your language.
Schedule playdates with kids who speak the same language, but make sure that kids don’t move into English when they chat which can sometimes happen.
Here are a few toys and books you can order online from Amazon.ca for your bilingual children
Spanish Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
French Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
Chinese Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
Persian/Farsi Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
Russian Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
Hebrew Toys and Books for Bilingual Children
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