Synopses & Reviews
“Kids think it’s cool to be smart. And what says smart more than speaking two languages? 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child shows us that nearly every child can learn a second language, and this excellent resource will inspire and guide you to help your kids do just that.”
— Melina Gerosa Bellows, Editor in Chief, National Geographic Kids
and author of The Fun Book for Moms: 102 Ways to Celebrate Family
No matter what age your child is or whether you speak one or more languages, you can raise your child to be bilingual! 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child makes it easy for all parents to embark on this remarkable and rewarding journey. The book’s step-by-step approach, which can be adapted by all families, will help you determine and achieve your bilingual goals for your child, whether those goals are understanding a second language, the ability to speak another language, or even reading and/or writing in two languages.
7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child explodes common myths about bilingualism, explains how the brain learns more than one language, answers frequently asked questions, and reveals an array of bilingual resources available to you and your family regardless of where you live. The book presents common hurdles and provides useful tips for conquering them. It also helps you navigate foreign-language learning opportunities in the public school system and offers concrete advice for handling special situations that can affect bilingual academic progress.
Packed with insightful anecdotes and powerful strategies, this one-of-a-kind guidebook will enable you to provide your child with a uniquely valuable and enriching experience.
Naomi Steiner, M.D., is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center Boston. Dr. Steiner is an expert in the methods that are used to teach children more than one language, and she works closely with many bilingual and multilingual families. She is raising her own two children multilingual and lives in Boston.
Susan L. Hayes is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent & Child, Parenting, Woman’s Day, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
The best time to learn a second language is as a child. During childhood, the brain is more receptive to language learning than at any other time in life. Aware that a second language can enrich their child’s understanding of other cultures and bring future job opportunities in a world drawn ever closer by globalization, many parents today are motivated to raise their children bilingual.
This book helps parents in both monolingual and multilingual families determine and achieve their bilingual goals for their child, whether those goals are understanding others, the ability to speak a second language, reading and/or writing in two languages, or some combination of all of these. The authors explain how the brain learns more than one language, explode common myths, address frequently asked questions, and reveal an array of resources available to families. Packed with insightful anecdotes and powerful strategies, this is a one-of-a-kind guidebook for those seeking to provide their children with a uniquely valuable experience.
About the Author
Naomi Steiner, M.D. (Boston, MA) is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with bilingual families at Tufts Medical Center Boston.
Susan L. Hayes (Brooklyn, NY) is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent & Child, Parenting, Woman’s Day , and other publications.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Building the Foundation for Your Child’s Bilingualism
What Does It Mean to Be a Bilingual Family
What Does It Mean to Be Bilingual?
7 Common Myths about Bilingualism
The Bilingual Advantage
Step 2: Making It Happen: Defining Your Goals
Decide Which Languages Are Important to You and Why
Identify Your Motivations for—and Your Reservations about—Bilingualism
Worksheet 1 Language Questionnaire
Choose Which Language(s) You and Your Partner Are Going to Speak to Your Child
Set a Start Date
Determine How Proficient You Hope Your Child Will Be in a Second Language
Do a Reality Check. Are Your Proficiency Goals Realistic for Your Family?
Take into Account That One Language Will Be Dominant
Worksheet 2 My Bilingual Goals and Choices
Step 3: Becoming a Bilingual Coach
Part One: Taking Charge
Part Two: Who Speaks Which Language When?
Step 4: Creating Your Bilingual Action Plan
Part One: Maximizing Language Input at Home
Part Two: Making The Most of Community and Family Resources
Part Three: FindingSchool Support
Part Four: How Three Families Are Raising Bilingual Children
Part Five: Create Your Own Bilingual Action Plan
Worksheet 3 What Are the Key Components to My Bilingual Action Plan?
Worksheet 4 Our Family’s Weekly Bilingual Schedule
Step 5: Leaping over Predictable Obstacles
Predictable Obstacle 1: I’m Not Sure That I’m Speaking to My Child in a Way That Will Help Him Become Bilingual
Predictable Obstacle 2: My Child Does Not Want to Speak My Language Anymore—She Only Wants to Speak English
Predictable Obstacle 3: My Child Keeps Mixing Languages
Predictable Obstacle 4: I’m Self-Conscious about Speaking My Language to My Child in Public
Predictable Obstacle 5: Because I’m the One Who Speaks a Second Language, I Feel Like I’m the One Doing All the Work to Raise Our Child Bilingual
Predictable Obstacle 6: My Work Schedule Has Become Really Hectic, and There’s Little Time for My Child’s Bilingualism
Step 6: The “Two Rs”: Reading and Writing in Two Languages
Reading in a Second Language
The Write Stuff
Step 7: Adapting to School: The Bilingual Child Goes to School
Part One: Public Bilingual Education Programs: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re at, and Where We’re Going
Part Two: Results May Vary: How to Handle Special Situations That Can Affect Your Child’s Bilingual Academic Progress
Bilingual Resource List