Monday, January 27, 2014

Raising A Bilingual Child

I always think that the kids will eventually be exposed to English once they enter formal education, or even preschool. So, I am enthusiastic to encourage my kids to speak Mandarin. Those of you who embark on the journey of raising a bilingual kids know that, it is definitely not an easy task. It requires more than just commitment, but also a sense of hyper-awareness because language is a day-to-day context.

I would share with you my simple list of do's and don'ts:

Do start exposing the child in the target language as early as possible. The earlier they start receiving consistent exposure to a language, the better.

Don’t panic if your child starts mixing languages. I look at it positively as the power of the brain being able to switch between the two languages. E.g. my girl will say: "mummy, I want to 买面包." (translate: mummy, I want to buy a loaf of bread)

Do have patient and keep going. It will take some extra effort to see the result.

Don't worry or be discouraged if your child does not speak the target language as quickly as his peers. E.g. I spent a year consistently converse in mandarin to my girl at the age of 2 years plus until she started to converse in mix languages at the age of 3 years plus.

Relentless routine = Breakthrough

我一直认为孩子在进入正式教育甚至在学前教育时总是会接触到英文。 所以,我积极的鼓励孩子讲华语。在培养精通双语的这个路途上的人都知道,这并不是件简单的任务,你需要的不只单单是执著,但也需要高度的警觉性,因为语言是每天生活的一部份。


要(应该 )尽早让孩子接触到你想灌输他的语言。孩子越早接触到另外一个语言越好。

不要(不应该)惊慌,如果孩子把两种语言混在一起时,用个正面的角度去看待是他大脑的功能正在两种语言之间交换着。比如,我女儿说:“妈妈,我要买bread。” (翻译:妈妈,我要买面包)

要(应该 )持之以恒。只要付出多一些的努力必看到成果。

不要(不应该)担心或气馁。如果孩子学习的进度/语言表达能力不比同年龄的孩子一样快。 比如,我花了一年的时间在女儿两岁多时持续的以华文和她沟通,她在三岁多时能把两种语言混在一起说。

不懈的惯例  = 突破

Linking up with


  1. I think it's a very Singaporean thing for us to mix English and Chinese since we're effectively bilingual. But it got pointed out to me by my daughter's childcare teacher that we should avoid doing that as kids will switch to the language they are more comfortable with and be lazy to learn say Chinese. It's something that I'm leaning to be more mindful of since we do want to improve her use of Mandarin.
    Thanks for linking up too Christina :)

    1. Hi Susan. Thanks for pointing out the cons on mixing the 2 languages, Indeed, we need to be more mindful of what we speak. Glad to link up :)