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Children who are Bilingual

by Linda Meo
(Yokosuka, Japan)

Children who are bilingual, it seems like they are very smart because they can handle two languages. Even though they can handle two languages it may not be known how much work goes into this by the parents and by their teachers.

At home mom speaks to the kids in English and dad speaks in Japanese. This helps the kids to remain unconfused about the languages. Of course they hear the interaction of the two because mom and dad speak both languages to each other.

Mom and dad also teach the kids how to read and write in their own language. This is not easy since mom and dad both work. An excellent tool is DVDs. Finding educational DVDs in both languages really helps.

Since mom and dad both work it is up to their teachers to help. Being mostly with mom the kids get a lot of English exposure. So the daycare center is Japanese.

The teachers are asked to not use English with the kids but only Japanese. Therefore they are getting equal exposure to both languages. The teachers also help with reading and writing of Japanese because dad is too busy to do it all the time.

Having bilingual kids is hard work for parents and teachers. However the kids will be very lucky when they grow up. They even say that bilingual kids grow up smarter than monolingual kids.

Linda Meo

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