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Raising Bilingual or Multi-lingual kids

Our kids are multi-lingual. Today, with the development of global international culture, more and more parents want to give their young children as many language skills as possible – not only one native tongue but also other languages that can be used for the better in the future; for those who aren’t native English speakers, English is, of course, usually at the top of the list, but your native tongue can be on the list of languages you’d want to teach.

First, a statistic: Approximately 20% of children in the United States speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish as the most common non-English language. There are many more bilingual or multilingual persons than there are monolingual. More than half the world’s population is bilingual.

raising bilingual kids
Myths of raising multi-lingual kids

Our desire as parents is to help our children become bi or even a multi-lingual, as early as possible, however, the fears in doing this often outweigh the desire – a lot of myths revolve around the issue of bilingual and multi-lingual child rearing which bother many parents who ultimately decide to abandon this worthy goal. In order to debunk these myths and show that there is no truth behind them, we will present you with the main ones and explain why they are wrong and why it’s worthwhile and recommended to overcome these fears and begin the process of teaching your child more languages at an early age.

MYTH 1. Learning two languages simultaneously will confuse the child

Many of those who argue against the introduction of an additional language cling to the myth that the extra language can confuse a child leading to them using both languages in one sentence. But it is important that you know that although this may happen, it isn’t really harmful; On the contrary, it is an act of ingenuity on the part of the child, and an intelligent use of all the tools at their disposal in order to convey an idea and to convey a certain message in a clearer and understandable way.

Experts agree that the mixing of languages is temporary, and eventually, as the vocabulary of the child in the two languages learned will increase, and the more exposed they are to both languages, the habit will disappear. We, as adults, also tend to mix languages unintentionally when we don’t know how to say a particular term in a single language or when a word in another language sounds better or more accurate in describing a situation. If you occasionally mix English and Spanish, for example, when you talk to each other at home or around your child, you can’t expect your child not to do so – and as mentioned, it doesn’t indicate any shortcoming or problem.

MYTH 2. Raising a bilingual child leads to a delay in speech development

Following the previous myth, there are those who argue that not only will confusion be the plight of those who try to teach their child two languages at the same time, but also a general delay in the development of speech and communication. This concern is based on a number of incidents that have occurred, but the delay has always been temporary, and this isn’t true for everyone. Unfortunately, many parents who are concerned about language development difficulties stop the learning process and return to teaching their child only one language.

Dr. Ellen Stubbe Kester, founder and president of an institute which provides speech therapy for bilingual children, says that scientific research indicates that bilingualism does not delay speech development or language acquisition, even if your child has been diagnosed with speech delay at some level or another, Kester adds that studies have shown that children with delayed development of bilingual language were eventually able to acquire languages with the same level of competence as language-delayed children raised as single-language speakers.

MYTH 3. Children absorb the language easily and are able to become bilingual without any effort at all

With there being those who think that learning a second language may harm the process of acquiring language – a myth that, as we see isn’t true, there are those who believe that learning a second language is a very simple process for the child. They believe that all that is needed is to talk to the child in the language they want to teach, or to just place them in front of different sources of that language, for example, T.V shows and music and they will absorb it on their own and wish to speak it without any significant educational intervention.

This is an unrealistic idea that is ly to lead to insignificant results; The process of teaching a new language should not be a heavy burden on your shoulders, However, it is important to present the child with the correct language and structure, as well as to persist in proper and consistent learning, whether in everyday conversations with the same language or traditional means of study. The idea is that in the end, you must expose your child to the language in a way that is meaningful to them, this includes interesting learning methods that relate to their daily life and routine.

MYTH 4. There is a point where it’s too late to raise your child bilingual

Many parents believe that there is a certain stage in childhood after which it is too late to try to raise their child bilingual. Therefore, if their child has crossed that age, they will not try to teach them a second language. But you should know that this is a mistake because all professionals and experts indicate that in most cases there are three optimal times for teaching a child a second language.

It is true that the best stage to impart to the child the knowledge of the additional language is from the moment of birth until the age of 3 – since this is the period when they acquire their first language and their mind is still open and able to be molded – but the 4-7 age range is also suitable for this purpose, as at this age they can still process multiple languages, that is to build a second language system next to the first language and learn how to speak both languages well. The third window of opportunity is between the age of 8 and puberty. After puberty, studies show that new languages are stored in a separate area of the brain thus making language acquisition at this age much more difficult, yet still possible.

MYTH 5. Parents must master both languages to teach their child both

In a house where two parents speak only one language, or only one of them speaks the other language they want to impart to a child, it is questionable whether it is even possible to raise a bilingual child. The obvious question of parents who don’t know a second language is: “If we speak one language among ourselves, how is it possible for a child to develop a second language?” But know that this is definitely something that can be done – today there are many professional aids that can help you teach your child a second language.

Of course you should take into consideration that if you decide to teach your child a second language without being able to speak it yourself, you may also have to learn some parts of it to help your child absorb it better – but you don’t need to speak it fluently; Movies, books, and of course, classes and professionals who specialize in language learning for children can be of great help to you and contribute to the development of the additional language in your child even without you mastering it as a second language yourself.

MYTH 6. Only very smart children can be bilingual

This is a myth that needs to be refuted right away: every child can be bilingual, regardless of their IQ or intelligence. When you teach your child a second language you should not be concerned about whether they are “smart enough” to go through the process, but only whether you are willing to make some lifestyle changes to make it happen.

It might be helpful to know that children are actually born ready to learn languages, and don’t need any special intellect or gift to do so; As we have already explained to you, a young brain has an advantage in learning languages more than any other tendency. It is clear that in later stages, some will have higher language learning abilities than others, but this is a skill most children have at young ages.

MYTH 7. Children should be fluent in one language before learning another

Many parents raising bilingual kids worry that two languages at once will put too much pressure on their children. They think that by waiting until they are fluent in one language it will be much easier for them to learn another. However as children get older, they become aware of the languages. This means that they need to “learn” a language, rather than acquire it naturally. It is widely agreed that the younger the child learns a language, the easier it is for them to learn, with the “Window of Opportunity” being between birth and five years old. By waiting until your child has learned one language to start a new one, you may miss this window.

MYTH 8 If my child has developmental challenges or learning disabilities, then learning a second language will make it even harder for them.

Wrong . Studies that compared bilingual children with SLI (specific language impairment) to monolingual children with SLI found that the bilingual kids showed equivalent levels of language-related strengths and weaknesses to the monolingual group. The same goes for children with developmental disorders, such as Autism.

MYTH 9 If I’m not speaking my mother tongue to my children, they’ll get the same strong accent and make the same mistakes as me.

Having an accent is not an indicator of language fluency. Secondly, accents change over our childhood and adolescence, and in many instances do not stabilize until the early 20s. Once kids start mingling with other children (around ages 2 or 3) they’ll start to learn their accent from their friends.

For more info: Read https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/school/Pages/7-Myths-Facts-Bilingual-Children-Learning-Language.aspx


Source: Internet, Bilingualkidspot.com & Others

Photo: by RODNAE Poductions on Pexels.com

The views expressed in this article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician’s advice. Always make sure to seek a doctor or a professional’s advice before proceeding with the home treatment plan.


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PICKY EATERS – FUNNY

These Kids Just Won’t Eat What They’re Served

Every parent has been there – your child has at least one food thing he or she is very particular about, and no matter what you say or do, they simply won’t budge. Maybe they hate broccoli most kids, or perhaps they despise chocolate pudding, but your kids probably never had such particular gastronomic limitation as these 22 kids:


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BEAUTIFUL ACECDOTE EMPHASIZING “DAILY ACTS OF KINDNESS”

Thanks to a friend, here is a lovely anecdote on spiritual living

Potato Chips

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips. He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever..

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, "dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"

He replied "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added, "You know, he’s much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!

Have lunch with God…….may be daily.


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PEARLS OF HAPPY LIVING

Simple Truths but so beautifully said.


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10 TIPS TO SUCCESS

1. Self-Belief:

Success is begins in the mind. One has to be a believer, first, if one wishes to be an achiever. Never under-estimate yourself. You have no idea how often can you surprise yourself. So to begin with, let’s get in the belief, "I Can."

2. Clarity of Vision:

There is no point running around without knowing where one wants to reach. you must get your job cut out. Greatest achievers in the world have been visionaries. Know exactly what you are best at and give it your best shot.

3. Setting the Right Goals:

The goals should be realistic .The goals should be achievable ,and yet challenging enough – neither too easy nor too difficult -something in the middle.

4. Be focused:

If the sun’s rays are focused on a piece of paper with a lens, the intensity of the concentrated energy burns the paper. Focus on your objective will enhance the intensity of the effects of your efforts.

5. No Short Cuts to Success:

There are no short cuts to success. Divide your overall goals into smaller targets. Divide your monthly plans into weekly and weekly plans into daily plans and see how simple can things be.

6. Take Risks:

Without any risk no progress is possible. Life comes to a stable standstill. People who take chances are the people who get ahead in life. The only way to reduce risk is to take risks.

7. Take the Initiative:

People who take the initiative make the most of their lives. Proactive people do not wait for success to happen; rather they make it happen. As they say, ‘JUST DO IT’.

8. Never Hesitate to Struggle:

No one has ever climbed a mountain just by looking at it. Struggle, hard struggle, is a key to success.

9. Own Responsibility:

Failure to hit the bull’s eye is never the fault of the target. People, who own complete responsibility of their lives, are the people who make the most of it.

10. Never Give Up:

Many people who failed in life, where those who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Success demands extra-ordinary amount of perseverance. Never, never, give up.


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FOR TEENS: SPEAKING THE TRUTH – HOW YOU SAY IT

How you speak is as important as what is said. An Interesting Spiritual thought in Sanskrit

Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat na bruyat satyam apriyam

priyam ca nanrutam bruyat esha dharmah sanatanah

Speak truth in such a way that it is pleasing to others. Never speak truth, which is unpleasant to others.

Never speak untruth, which might be pleasant. This is the path of eternal morality.

To speak truth is an eternal value irrespective of time and place. But the expression of truth should be accompanied by two conditions.

Firstly, it should be presented in a loving manner and secondly it should be spoken for the betterment of others.

A fable to illustrate this

The King And The Astrologer

A king produced his horoscope before an astrologer and asked him about his future. The astrologer pondered the positions of the planets and consulted the Stars and finally gave his verdict: “Maharaja, all your relatives will die before you, you will perform their obsequies with your own hands”.

The king became furious. He was very much attached to his family and could not tolerate such a verdict. The king at once ordered that the poor astrologer be imprisoned for life.

Then the king sent for another astrologer. This man was more tactful than the first. He found that the previous astrologer’s readings were absolutely correct. So, he tactfully put the same truth the other way round. He said:

“Maharaja, you have a very long life. You will live longer than all your relatives”.

This also meant that all his relatives would die while the king was alive. The same fact had been very tactfully. The king was highly pleased with the astrologer and gave him rich and costly presents.

Therefore it is said that even while telling the truth, one should tell it in a pleasant manner. Even a truth should not be told in a way that will hurt the feelings of others.


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KIDS AND GUNS

Do we lack common sense?

Yesterday, Gun instructor Charles Vacca, 39, was standing next to a 9 year old girl outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, was killed.

What makes this bizzare is that he was shot and killed by a Uzi submachine gun operated by the 9 year old girl! Just 9 years!

This is not isolated. In 2008, an 8-year-old boy died after shooting himself in the head at a gun expo near Springfield, Massachusetts, when the Uzi kicked back.

Makes me ask a simple question “Why is a child allowed to use an automatic weapon?” Is this what we call civilization?


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CONGRATS TO PLANO AGAIN

Plano was recently ranked No. 2 on the Best Cities for Working Parents report by NerdWallet.

Cities were awarded points in the data-driven study with each of the following four categories weighted as 25 percent of the total score: city affordability, child care affordability, high-quality schools and family friendliness.

Other Top 10 cities are Chandler, Ariz., Fremont, Calif., Irvine, Calif., Garland, El Paso, Lexington, Ken., Chesapeake, Va. and Mesa, Ariz, in order. The top 100 cities include 13 Texas cities with Arlington ranked No. 19, Fort Worth ranked No. 24, Irving ranked No. 38 and Dallas ranked No. 58.

For information on the study, visit nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/best-cities-working-parents/.