The Top 7 Tips for
Raising a bilingual child can be tough! Sure, it’s rewarding and really beneficial for your child—in the short and long term—but it can also be a big challenge. It can be even more of a challenge if you’re not bilingual yourself!
But being a monolingual parent doesn’t mean that you can’t help your child become bilingual—it just means you’ll have to figure out new, creative, and helpful ways to support your child along their journey to become bilingual.
Don’t get us wrong—we know that raising a bilingual child as a monolingual parent comes with its fair share of challenges, but there are so many exciting, entertaining, and educational methods out there to help your child become fluently bilingual.
So, how exactly can you help? We’ve put together some of the top tips that monolingual parents can use to help encourage and raise their bilingual children. Check them out here!
Change the Audio Settings on your TV
Did you know that you can switch most TV shows and streaming services to other languages? This is available in most cases, and it’s hugely beneficial for helping your child immerse themselves in their new language.
Finding educational shows and movies for your child to reinforce their second language is a great tool for monolingual parents—you can preview the shows in your native language to make sure they’re appropriate and you can provide them with a fun and exciting way to learn their second language!
There are tons of educational programs out there with a focus on teaching children another language, but you can also just change the audio on your kiddo’s favorite shows to have them play in another language
Audiobooks For the Win
You know how much kids love to listen to stories, right? Combining that passion with learning another language is the perfect way to show them that being bilingual is fun and exciting!
But, if you don’t speak the second language and can’t read stories to them in that language, try finding fun and entertaining audiobooks in the language they’re learning.
There are so many free audiobooks out there in dozens of languages, all telling stories that your children will adore listening to.
Listen to Songs in the Second Language
Think back to when you were learning how to speak your native language—your teachers and parents probably sang songs, rhymes, and used music to help you understand and learn. This same strategy can work for your kids as you teach them, too! The rhymes and rhythms help to reinforce language in a fun and exciting way that will encourage your children to learn while having a blast.
Find Good Books in the Second Language
It’s nice to have fun ways to immerse your child into their second language, but it definitely helps to use great books to help them learn, too! The best way to help children learn a second language is by fully immersing them in it—that includes reading high-quality books in their second language.
Play with Bilingual Toys
There’s nothing kids love more than a fun, new toy—seems like the perfect opportunity for fun bilingual learning! Check out these fun toys from Wordy Toys that place a special emphasis on language but never sacrifice any of the fun!
Learn with Your Child
We’re not saying that you have to fully embrace being bilingual but making the effort to learn the language with your child can go a long way for their own motivation!
Kids love doing what their parents do. When your child sees you putting in the time and dedication to learning a new language (and they see how much fun you’re having doing it), they’re more likely to throw themselves into it, enjoy it, and be excited with it!
This doesn’t always sound good to every parent, but if you have young children, it can be incredibly motivating for them to see you tag along with them and learn a language.
Encourage Your Child to Speak (and Write) Both Languages
Even if you only speak one language, encouraging your child to freely and openly speak, write, and practice their second language with you is going to be super helpful in their progress.
You don’t have to always understand them but being an encouraging sounding board for them can motivate them, encourage them, and inspire them to continue learning—especially when they see how excited you are by their progress.
This has an added benefit, too—if your child speaks to you enough, odds are, you’re probably going to pick up on some of the new language, too. You might even be able to have mini-conversations with them just by participating in their feedback.
Expose Them to as Much Language as Possible
Overall, the best thing you can do as a parent raising a bilingual child is try to expose them to their second language as much as possible. Even if you don’t personally understand the second language you’re trying to get them to learn, having it playing on the radio, in movies, as audiobooks, or having literature in the house is going to make an enormous difference in their learning.
Though it’s certainly challenging at times to be a monolingual parent who’s raising a bilingual child, the best thing you can do for them is ensure you’re doing everything in your power to immerse them in the language.
If you and your child are ready to embark on the bilingual journey, we’re so excited to do our part to help! Check out Wordy Toys’ unique, language-focused toys that are all about learning and fun! Who says you can’t learn and play at the same time?
-The Wordy Team
"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel.
We just want to write wheel on the wheel."