#1 Go team!
To raise a bilingual child it’s important that both parents are completely on board and committed to the idea. Talk about it, share opinions, experiences and concerns and find a solution that works for both parties. Make it a family mission!
#2 Make a plan!
Once both parents committed to the idea of raising a bilingual child, create a plan on how to do it. There are different methods depending on your family’s situation – the two most popular are the ML@H (minority language at home) – where both parents speak the minority language at home and OPOL (one parent, one language) – where one parent speaks one language to the child and the other speaks the second language. Choose the one that works best for you and stick to it even when it gets tough, (because it can). Consistency is the key!
#3 Talk, talk, talk!
Languages need exposure! And while there is “no good measure of ‘enough exposure‘ for a child to become naturally bilingual, there is no dsputing the fact that the more, the better. Make sure your child is constantly exposed to the sound of the minority language – talk to them about anything you can babble on about.
#4 Play, play, play!
Sing, dance, read and play in the target language! As much as talking is important to your child, so is having enough time to play and enjoy. Make sure you involve the minority language in games, rhymes or songs. Attending a playgroup or Fun Language club will also make languages a fun social event for your child.