7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

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The best time to learn a second language is as a child. During childhood, the brain is more receptive to language learning than at any other time in life. Aware that a second language can enrich their child's understanding of other cultures and bring future job opportunities in a world drawn ever closer by globalization, many parents today are motivated to raise their children bilingual. This book helps parents in both monolingual and multilingual families determine and achieve their bilingual goals for their child, whether those goals are understanding others, the ability to speak a second language, reading and/or writing in two languages, or some combination of all of these. The authors explain how the brain learns more than one language, explode common myths, address frequently asked questions, and reveal an array of resources available to families. Packed with insightful anecdotes and powerful strategies, this is a one-of-a-kind guidebook for those seeking to provide their children with a uniquely valuable experience.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 13mm | 367g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Special ed.
  • 0814400469
  • 9780814400463
  • 95,569

Back cover copy

"Kids think it's cool to be smart. And what says smart more than speaking two lan-guages? 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child shows us that nearly every child can learn a second language, and this excellent resource will inspire and guide you to help your kids do just that."

-- Melina Gerosa Bellows, Editor in Chief, National Geographic Kids

and author of The Fun Book for Moms: 102 Ways to Celebrate Family

No matter what age your child is or whether you speak one or more languages, you can raise your child to be bilingual! 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child makes it easy for all parents to embark on this remarkable and rewarding journey. The book's step-by-step approach, which can be adapted by all families, will help you determine and achieve your bilingual goals for your child, whether those goals are understanding a second language, the ability to speak another language, or even reading and/or writing in two languages.

7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child explodes common myths about bilingualism, explains how the brain learns more than one language, answers frequently asked questions, and reveals an array of bilingual resources available to you and your family regardless of where you live. The book presents common hurdles and provides useful tips for conquering them. It also helps you navigate foreign-language learning opportunities in the public school system and offers concrete advice for handling special situa-tions that can affect bilingual academic progress.

Packed with insightful anecdotes and powerful strategies, this one-of-a-kind guidebook will enable you to provide your child with a uniquely valuable and enriching experience.

Naomi Steiner, M.D., is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center Boston. Dr. Steiner is an expert in the methods that are used to teach children more than one language, and she works closely with many bilingual and multilingual families. She is raising her own two children multilingual and lives in Boston.

Susan L. Hayes is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent & Child, Parenting, Woman's Day, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.
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Table of contents




Step 1: Building the Foundation for Your Child's Bilingualism

What Does It Mean to Be a Bilingual Family

What Does It Mean to Be Bilingual?

7 Common Myths about Bilingualism

The Bilingual Advantage

Step 2: Making It Happen: Defining Your Goals

Decide Which Languages Are Important to You and Why

Identify Your Motivations for-and Your Reservations about-Bilingualism

Worksheet 1 Language Questionnaire

Choose Which Language(s) You and Your Partner Are Going to Speak to Your Child

Set a Start Date

Determine How Proficient You Hope Your Child Will Be in a Second Language

Do a Reality Check. Are Your Proficiency Goals Realistic for Your Family?

Take into Account That One Language Will Be Dominant

Worksheet 2 My Bilingual Goals and Choices

Step 3: Becoming a Bilingual Coach

Part One: Taking Charge

Part Two: Who Speaks Which Language When?

Step 4: Creating Your Bilingual Action Plan

Part One: Maximizing Language Input at Home

Part Two: Making The Most of Community and Family Resources

Part Three: FindingSchool Support

Part Four: How Three Families Are Raising Bilingual Children

Part Five: Create Your Own Bilingual Action Plan

Worksheet 3 What Are the Key Components to My Bilingual Action Plan?

Worksheet 4 Our Family's Weekly Bilingual Schedule

Step 5: Leaping over Predictable Obstacles

Predictable Obstacle 1: I'm Not Sure That I'm Speaking to My Child in a Way That Will Help Him Become Bilingual

Predictable Obstacle 2: My Child Does Not Want to Speak My Language Anymore-She Only Wants to Speak English

Predictable Obstacle 3: My Child Keeps Mixing Languages

Predictable Obstacle 4: I'm Self-Conscious about Speaking My Language to My Child in Public

Predictable Obstacle 5: Because I'm the One Who Speaks a Second Language, I Feel Like I'm the One Doing All the Work to Raise Our Child Bilingual

Predictable Obstacle 6: My Work Schedule Has Become Really Hectic, and There's Little Time for My Child's Bilingualism

Step 6: The "Two Rs": Reading and Writing in Two Languages

Reading in a Second Language

The Write Stuff

Step 7: Adapting to School: The Bilingual Child Goes to School

Part One: Public Bilingual Education Programs: Where We've Been, Where We're at, and Where We're Going

Part Two: Results May Vary: How to Handle Special Situations That Can Affect Your Child's Bilingual Academic Progress


Bilingual Resource List
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Review quote

"Steiner's passion for languages is obvious on every page and instills inspiration in both parents who've always planned to raise their children to be bilingual and in those who never considered bilingualism to be an important possibility. Perhaps, with Steiner's help, the people of the global village will raise the level of discourse and not only will countries be able to speak to each other, they'll also be able to understand each other." --ForeWord Magazine "Find out why early childhood is the best time to teach your child a second language and learn how to do it with this step-by-step guide. The section on handling predictable obstacles is particularly helpful." --Scholastic Parent & Child "Recommended for large public libraries and libraries serving diverse cultures." --Library Journal
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About Naomi Steiner

Naomi Steiner, M.D. (Boston, MA) is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with bilingual families at Tufts Medical Center Boston. Susan L. Hayes (Brooklyn, NY) is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent Child, Parenting, Woman's Day , and other publications.
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Rating details

231 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 21% (48)
4 37% (85)
3 33% (77)
2 9% (21)
1 0% (0)
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