Code-Switching vs. Borrowing in Bilingual Children

 One thing that often alarms the parents of bilingual children is when their children start switching back and forth between languages mid-sentence. This has been misunderstood and mischaracterized as a sign of "confusion" on the part of the child. Both popular culture and older academic literature will tell you that mixing languages is a bad habit. You may encounter teachers who still believe this, and … [Read more...]

Setting the Goals for Your Child’s Bilingualism

Let me ask you a question. Do you know where are you going? Yes, you did a good job on deciding that your child is going to be raised bilingual. But, what is you bilingual destination? Of course, bilingualism is more like a journey, but you still need to set up couple destinations so if you reach them - you will be happy with your journey. Basically,  you have to know the level of skill you are trying … [Read more...]

How To Find Children Books In Your Heritage Language?

It’s hard to stress this point enough: Reading out loud is a HUGE part of raising your child bilingual! If you are not reading to your child in your heritage language, or not teaching him/her how to read in it, you are missing a huge opportunity. Reading in a heritage language is a major source of bilingual experiences: Enriches vocabulary Develops imagination Opens parent-child … [Read more...]

Bilingual Reading Balance for Older Children

  With school year started our # 1 goal with my 3rd grader is to find the reading balance between our 2 main languages: Russian and English. Summer was little easier. He had a lot of time in his hands and was able to read in two languages every day. But school days are different. We have limited amount of time, there is required reading he brings home every day, there are sport activities every … [Read more...]

What To Do When Your Child Speaks With an Accent?

Last summer we traveled back to my home country Ukraine. After two weeks of adjustment my children (age 7, 4 and almost 1 in that time) felt very comfortable with their language skills. Often people were surprised to hear that Russian is their second language. But. There were moments when my son would receive long stares and the following statement: "you have an accent!"  It did not seem to bother him, … [Read more...]

Your Accent | An Enemy Or A Friend?

As soon as I speak, the first thing people say: “where is your accent from?” Is this true for you? I get it a lot here in the United States. When I first moved here, I always asked my husband to make phone calls or talk to people for me. I was scared that no one would understand me because of my accent. My English skills are much better now (even the neighborhood kids understand me), but my … [Read more...]