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Language Bombardment and Bilingual Kids


Are you raising bilingual children? Is one language more dominant than the other, but you'd really like them to get better at the less dominant language? Often there are fewer opportunities to to speak the less dominant language, so how do we encourage our children to speak it?

Language Bombardment is the idea that the more language input a child receives, the more they will learn. So basically, talk to your child. Then talk some more. Then keep talking. Yes, this is great news for parents who love to talk, but a little more difficult for quieter parents.

What should I talk about? Anything and everything! Talk about your day, what you bought at the grocery store, the outfit you're wearing, how you're making dinner and every ingredient you're putting into the pot. Talk about what you and your child are seeing as you drive to school, talk about what colors, shapes, sizes things are, talk about your favorite foods, friends, music, just keep talking!

If your child wants to talk, then you can take a break from talking and encourage them to talk more. Don't correct every mistake, allow them to express themselves and feel good about it. A good way to sneak in corrections is to repeat the sentence correctly. For example if they say, "Uncle Joe eated ice cream," you can say, "Uncle Joe ate ice cream? What kind?"

You won't get immediate results, but the more your child hears the language, the more he or she is absorbing vocabulary and grammar. Good luck and drink lots of water (for those parched throats from talking so much!).

Photo by M.T ElGassier on Unsplash

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