How to Ensure Bilingualism: Find a Bilingual Best Friend
It is no surprise that the future is bilingual. And today’s parents have so much pressure on how to set up their children to excel in their adult lives. Relentlessly at the top of that how-to list is the goal many mamas and papas have which is to ensure their baby becomes bilingual, even if they aren’t. With benefits like increased cognitive development, opportunities to compete in the global job market, and enhanced social-emotional understanding, how do we accomplish this at such a young age?
Just think back to when you were four years old. Aside from your family, who was the most important person in your life? Of course, your bestie! You wanted to do everything your main ace was doing — same shoes, exact same backpack, similar hair styles. You frequented the same playground, shared snacks, and even sang the same songs. And, if your best friend was bilingual, you tried your darndest to learn as much of that language as you could. So, I’m encouraging you to go out and find some bilingual friends with kids and plan some super fun things to do all together. Because if you are successful at this, your little one will have a lifelong buddy to practice their new language with. They will feel cool, because their first association with the new language was with someone they love! Research in brain development leads us to understand that all of this positive emotion will trigger memory of the best sort. Translation: your baby will be yapping away with their bilingual bestie well into their adult lives! Here’s a few things they can do together to keep the bilingual adventure going:
- Attend a Bilingual Birdies class together if they’re in NYC, Long Island, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Albuquerque, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Nova Scotia Canada, or Melbourne, Australia. Bilingual Birdies classes are with music, movement, and puppetry so kids will have so much fun learning as they play!
- Read Canticos books together and sing the songs at home!
- Bake cultural foods and practice saying the ingredients in the new language with correct pronunciation.
- Listen to awesome music in the language you are trying to learn while you have a dance party at home in your living room! Bilingual Birdies and Canticos have music that will leave everyone feeling happy and excited about learning more new words!
About the author
Sarah Farzam is the Founder & CEO of Bilingual Birdies, a live music bilingual education program based in NYC and now operating in 13 cities across the US and beyond. To bring your kids to a class or learn how to launch your own Bilingual Birdies program in your city, visit www.bilingualbirdies.com.
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