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Quick Tip:

Top 10 Mistakes Parents Make

  • Don't teach -- make it fun and natural.
  • Don't make a big deal of the languages -- but do explain the usage.
  • Don't correct -- just repeat the words correctly.
  • Don't ask your child to "show off," -- but praise him if he volunteers.
  • Don't mix languages yourself -- a consistent language system provides structure, predictability, and security. This in turn promotes learning.
  • Don't rely on recordings -- speak or sing to your baby directly and intently.
  • Don't be shy -- use your language in public even if you sometimes feel embarrassed.
  • Don't make abrupt changes to your child's language environment -- go slow and explain what's happening.
  • Don't wait to expose your child to a second or third language -- the earlier your child starts, the easier it will be for everyone.
  • Don't wait! We really mean it! If not now, probably never.

But Do: praise, encourage, and have fun!

Related Articles
  • Tips and tools for starting a play group.
  • How do you set realistic goals? What about literacy?
  • Not enough time together? Make the most of the language exposure.
  • What to expect from an immersion program.
  • More ideas that stimulate language learning.
Copyright © 2004 Multilingual Children's Association, All Rights Reserved.
Your Guide to Raising Bilingual Children