We have already talked about teaching children another language and raising them bilingual but today I would like to draw your attention to this interesting story about a mother who is determined to teach her son Cantonese, in spite of the fact that she does not speak it fluently.
There have been many debates on whether or not a parent can teach a language to their child that is not their native tongue, especially, if they do not speak it at an advanced level. The simple answer to this dilemma is yes, they can. However, they have to be consistent, confident and seek help when needed from native speakers or simply expose the child to an environment where they can practice the second language in a fun and natural way.
I think it is very important that children learn the languages of the parents first and foremost, then they venture into a second, third or even fourth language, because knowing the native tongues of the parents creates a cultural connection, helps establish an identity, and last but not least, they will have no problem communicating with relatives when visiting the home country. Of course, learning the additional languages can happen parallely with the first language acquisition but it is always a good idea to associate the new language with a particular activity and/or person, use it always in a conext and not simply when we remember to do it. And remember, even if you don’t speak the new language fluently, don’t worry, you can learn together with your child and create a very special and fun experience with them that will last a lifetime.
Team of Hansa One Directors, Trainers and Instructors sharing experiences and interests on all things cultures and languages.