5 Things Every Multilingual Family Needs In Their Home
If you are a multilingual family, resources are essential for keeping up with the languages, especially when raising multilingual kids. Without using a language on a regular basis, fluency can be lost. So, it is important that you have at least some of these, if not all of them in your home.
1. Dictionary & Thesaurus
Whether you have a physical ones, or you use them online, a dictionary and thesaurus are extremely important. Not only do they make it easy to look up a new word that you don’t know, but they can settle any family disputes about the meaning of a word.
2. A Multilingual and Multicultural Library
Books, books, and more books. I cannot stress about the importance of reading when being brought up to be multilingual. Kids need to read every day, and they need to be read to. Having a multilingual and multicultural library will ensure your children have access to a range of different books at all times.
Make sure that the books are accessible too. There is no point having a home library if it is out of reach or out of sight. Place the books in various locations around the house where your children spend time.
3. Multilingual Music
Singing along to music makes it easier to learn new vocabulary. Listening to music in different languages will keep the languages alive at home. Have music playing in the house, even in the background. It is an amazing mood changer and can get kids singing and dancing along in any language.
4. Access to foreign movies and cartoons
Watching TV shows or movies in a language can help with a child’s fluency in a passive manner without much effort on the parents part. Although TV won’t teach a child a language they don’t speak yet, it can help them become more comfortable speaking one they need to improve. By allowing screen time in the weaker language, this can give more exposure to the language and help strengthen fluency.
Life gets busy. Between school and work there sometimes isn’t always time to just sit and chat having conversations. But it is important to take time out every day to just talk together as a family. Talk about your day, talk about what is going on in each other’s lives outside the family home. Even just 20mins per day to sit and talk uninterrupted can make a great difference.
Multilingual Family’s Making it Work
If you need some inspiration from multilingual families making it work from around the world, check out our Multilingual Family’s Series on our website.