Wednesday, January 9, 2008

You Can Teach Spanish to Your Child

If you're like me, a monolingual parent who wants to teach her child another language, you may have some insecurities. You may be wondering, "How can I teach my child a language that I don't speak fluently?" "What if I'm not pronouncing the words right?" "Suppose she asks me what something means and I have no idea what it means?" I will echo what the author of the following article says:

Proceed With Confidence

There is so much you can do to foster and support a bilingual environment in your home. We're doing it, and we're happy to share with you how.

"Calming the Anxiety of Parents Teaching a Second Language"
by Dr. Christine Galbreath Jernigan

I am a researcher of foreign language education, a foreign language teacher for over 13 years, and a mother raising two children to speak my second language. I have interviewed and “play-dated” with over 80 families raising children to speak a language that is not their first language. Before they begin, and even en route to exposing their children to a second language, parents come to me looking for support.

Often I hear parents say, “I’m not good enough at the language and I won’t be myself in another language.” I assuage their anxiety with, “You are learning the language with your children. Throw out the ‘perfectly fluent native speaker’ model of a language teacher. Communicate—listen to music, sing, watch videos, and read read read in the second language.”"
(Read more)

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