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Book Available in both Spanish and Russian
In my work as a bilingual bicultural speech language pathologist, I have yet to meet a parent whom regretted raising their child to be bilingual. However, I have heard many, many stories of regret and disappointment from parents who did not make this choice. My hope and prayer in preparing this concise, pragmatic, and practical booklet is that you will use it as a guide for offering your children the gift of speaking more than one language and doing so with ease.
A growing number of U.S. parents view bilingualism as a laudable family goal. The reasons for this trend include a desire to maintain ties to the parents’ heritage language and culture, provide children with academic and cognitive advantages, and promote cross-cultural understanding and communication. Nevertheless research indicates that success in raising children to be bilingual remains the exception in the United States, because most children eventually become English dominant or even monolingual in English (Wong Fillmore, 2000). This is due at least in part to the high status of English and the limited number of opportunities available for children to learn languages other than English. Research also indicates that parents’ beliefs, attitudes, and interactions with their children are important in helping children become bilingual (De Houwer, 1998; Lanza, 1997).
There is a real need to disseminate clear, accurate information about what parents should expect as they begin the journey of raising children bilingually.
Language problems and confusion do not result from exposure to and speaking of more than one language.
This is simply a myth, and we are hoping that by the conclusion of this book you will understand why and have a clearer, more practical hands-on understanding of the facts about second-language learning.
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