Role of the Parents

What role do parents play in the event of a multilingual education?

In most cases the parents play a pivotal role in stimulating the desire to learn a secondary language.

The parent:

  • sets the foundation, consciously or unconsciously, for the learning of the language and they assume the greater responsibility for the linguistic instinct in their child.
  • establishes the course of action with regard to the use of the language
  • is most affected from the criticism and prejudices of the society in regards to use of the second language
  • is the most important role- model for the child in using their native language. The quality of the language is dependent on how well the parent applies use of vocabulary, speech, pronunciation and idioms. They also influence the speed in which the child learns the language
  • is directly confronted with the issues arising from the decision to raise a child bilingually, for example, the intermingling of languages and/or rejection of the language

Tip: If the parents decide to communicate with each other in two or more distinct languages, this does not influence the child’s language development since it is not directed at the child.

Tip: Inform and prepare yourself to help your children get a successful language development! For example check out some books in our online Shop in the category “Books for Parents”. Also look at our articles review in our Blog.

Further: Typical Problems

Back in Raising Children Bilingually to: Constellation of a Multilingual Education

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