Writer in Blandford Forum, United Kingdom
Hi, I’m Bea, a Polish-born mum to five-year-old Ka*, living in the United Kingdom and knowing a thing or two about linguistics and bilingualism in children in particular.
I raised my son bilingual in a monolingual home, using my custom method of introducing two languages at the same time and from an early age.
On blog www.BornBilingual.org, I share my experience as a migrant mum and a linguist, and I’m hoping to help other migrant parents teach their children the community language by the age of three.
Based both on my family experience and linguistic facts I am convinced that introducing the majority language from birth and by three can vastly boost a child’s well-being, improve their performance at school and help integrate with the community. I believe that setting a limit to the introduction period by a child’s third birthday allows avoiding any long-lasting effects on a child’s language proficiency, regardless the parent’s language skills. I’m hoping to inspire more parents who live in a foreign country to introduce the local language to their children from the earliest stage of their lives.
I am not planning to scare you away or demonise the idea of speaking your native language at home. What I want is to talk about the facts, which most of us won’t hear about in the national news or read in a newspaper. I’m also hoping to inspire you to find your own family method to introduce the community language to your child from birth. Why? Because it’s worth it.