7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

By Naomi Steiner; Susan L. Hayes | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

We have now reached the end of our journey together. While I hope that this book will serve as your guidebook on your journey of raising your child bilingual and will be well thumbed as a result of your returning to it again and again as specific questions and issues arise, I'd like to leave you with what I believe are the three pieces of advice that I hope you will take most to heart:


1. Help your child identify positively with the language.

It's not an exaggeration to say that if your child does not identify positively with the second language, the chances of her becoming bilingual are remote. While this may sound overly dramatic, when you think about it, it makes sense. As we've discussed throughout the book, learning a second language can be fun and immensely satisfying, but there's no getting around the fact that it also requires a lot of effort and energy over a long period of time. (And as I pointed out at the beginning of Step 2, the same thing of course is true of mastering anything.) But the truth of the matter is that none of us, child or adult, is going to devote the amount of effort, energy, and time it takes to become truly proficient in a language (or at a sport or a musical

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