asked questions about raising children in bilingual homes:
hurting my child by exposing him to two languages?
You are giving your child the opportunity to
learn two languages. In the long run, being bilingual is a
valuable asset. In the short run, learning two languages takes a
little longer than learning one.
we use only English at home to help my child learn English?
You should interact with your child in the
language or languages that are most comfortable for you. Children
need to experience lots of natural, meaningful conversation to
learn language. If you are more comfortable in Spanish, you are
probably doing a better job of helping your child learn Spanish.
You can help your child learn English by finding English-language
activities such as library story hours or sports activities where
he will interact with native English speakers.
can I do so that my child doesn't lose his Spanish.
It can be difficult to maintain Spanish as
children get older. Try to provide your child opportunities for
natural, meaningful conversations in Spanish-language settings.
Interactions with Spanish speakers who do not speak English will
make using Spanish more natural and meaningful.
I find out how my child's English compares to what the schools
Most schools in Florida administer tests of
English language knowledge and of reading skill, and many report
these scores to parents. Ask your child's teacher or school what
tests your child is given and what reports are available.
The National Institutes of Health
has made videos answering some of your most
frequently asked questions.