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7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child [Paperback]

Naomi Steiner , Steven Parker , Susan L. Hayes

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Book Description

Nov. 13 2008
The best time to learn a second language is as a child. During childhood, the brain is more receptive to language learning than at any other time in life. Aware that a second language can enrich their child’s understanding of other cultures and bring future job opportunities in a world drawn ever closer by globalization, many parents today are motivated to raise their children bilingual.



This book helps parents in both monolingual and multilingual families determine and achieve their bilingual goals for their child, whether those goals are understanding others, the ability to speak a second language, reading and/or writing in two languages, or some combination of all of these. The authors explain how the brain learns more than one language, explode common myths, address frequently asked questions, and reveal an array of resources available to families. Packed with insightful anecdotes and powerful strategies, this is a one-of-a-kind guidebook for those seeking to provide their children with a uniquely valuable experience.

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Review

"Recommended for large public libraries and libraries serving diverse cultures." --"Library Journal"

About the Author

Naomi Steiner, M.D. (Boston, MA) is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with bilingual families at Tufts Medical Center Boston.



Susan L. Hayes (Brooklyn, NY) is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent & Child, Parenting, Woman’s Day , and other publications.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable guide on bilingualism Nov. 24 2008
By Birgit - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is an excellent and easy to read step-by-step guide for anyone interested in raising children with a second (or multiple) language. It is an invaluable tool for parents and teachers alike. The guide is exceptionally rich in personal narratives and practical advices based on research results and Steiner's personal experience as a mother and pediatrician who raises her own children multilingual. The author demystifies bilingualism and encourages parents to participate in second language education at any child age. If parents do not speak a second language, she suggests for example to incorporate the language experience of the babysitter or others. She inspires to introduce world languages to young and older children as well as to their parents (e.g. to the husband who is not fluent in his wife's first language). One very important point that the author makes is that language is a tool serving the communication.

Having been raised monolingual by my parents in a non-English speaking country, I was introduced to world languages during middle and high school, but at that time I never really used the languages actively, mostly in fear to say something wrong and make mistakes (but still it helped having this basis). After having come to the U.S. at an "older age", I needed to communicate in English which I did not speak or understand fluently. At the same time, I had to raise my children in-between languages. Steiner encourages me that it is perfectly normal when my children (or I) sometimes for example mix a foreign, primary language word into their (or my) dialogue, not because we are "confused", but because that is an easier way of communication and part of a learning process. Thank you, Dr. Steiner, for all your great realistic recommendations.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book changed my life, literally Dec 10 2009
By K. Marcikic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This review comes through my wife's account. I loved this book! I am a native speaker of a foreign language, married to a native English speaker and a father of two boys (6 and 2 yrs old). I have been struggling to teach my boys my native language and have somehow always found a "good excuse" for not doing it (too tired, it's not perfect when they try to speak it, they don't respond, etc.). Dr. Steiner's book helped me deal with all the possible issues and excuses you can imagine and not just that, it inspired me to start teaching my language to my children anew and stick with it! There is a lot of practical advice, do's and dont's that any bilingual parent should have an insight into. Thank you Dr. Steiner for inpiring me to just do it!! Would recommend to any parent who wants to raise their children bilingual, especially to ones who tried and think they are "failing" and that "it doesn't work"!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable guide to raising a bilingual child Oct. 23 2008
By Federica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Naomi Steiner's book makes a very compelling case for the great benefits that come from knowing a second language. The book is an empowering and invaluable tool for parents who want to expose their children to a second language. The author breaks down the bilingual action plan into small steps that make the goal of raising bilingual children seem completely attainable and, of course, absolutely worthwhile. The book also offers plenty of real-life examples of different approaches parents can use when raising bilingual kids as well as practical solutions to the inevitable challenges parents encounter in raising bilingual children. I highly recommend it!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for parents and not only Dec 18 2008
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a parent of a bilingual kid myself, and coming from a multilingual family, I can strongly relate with Dr. Naomi Steiner's thoughts and ideas about raising a bilingual child. Not only has she helped me and my husband understand what we have been through in the last decade with our child, but in her book we found strong encouragements and research findings to support our decision to raise a bi- or even a multi-lingual child.

Dr. Naomi Steiner is also a "maestro" to providing parents willing to raise their kids multilingual with the means and methods necessary so that they are successful and rewarded in their effort. I agree with her that at the end of the day, it is really not an effort; it becomes a way of life and enriches a child's communication with the rest of the world. Dr. Steiner has debunked a few myths we had ourselves about "confusing" our child if we try to teach two different sets of spelling and reading rules, and about letting her figure out other languages, such as Chinese (Mandarin) or Japanese, in which she expressed a keen interest at a young age.

I truly believe this book will change not only our child's life, as after reading it we became even more determined to raise a multilingual kid, but our lives as well. It was my exposure to multiple European Languages in school that helped me understand the importance and great benefit of at least understanding the basic words in another language - especially if you like to travel a lot, as we do. But now, living in the Boston area and meeting people speaking different languages every day, it became more apparent that it gives us a special connection with them when we are able to say a few words in their native language.

In Dr. Naomi Steiner's book, "7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child" we found everything we needed to enrich our daughter's life, to provide her the facts and the methods of integrating her second, and why not her third and maybe fourth language in her everyday life, and expose her to the beautiful and uniqueness of her grandparents' and her parents' first language culture, as we know for sure this is a gift to her.

Thank you, Naomi, for such a great book and I warmly recommend it to all parents and all the people decided to follow this path - the multicultural path!

Chris, MA
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars easy read but not very useful Feb. 24 2013
By white elephant - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As expecting parents who speak 5 languages combined, we want to better prepare ourselves to raise a multilingual child -- at least bilingual. This book was surely easy to read but not helpful at all. It only tells us the following four tings. 1, bilingualism is good. 2, expose children with the second language as much as possible, 3, make weekly schedule, 4. don't feel bad when you have to be strict about language education.

This is so commonsensical and we did not have to spend a few hours to get that information.

This book is probably good if you are unsure about your decision to make your children bilingual, particularly if you are not a native speaker of the second language that your children will learn. The book probably boosts your confidence. (but to be perfectly honest, even the concern of "whether i can raise a bilingual child" sounds silly. that's what the most of the world does.) It doesn't really give you much practical advice on "how much" exposure, "what kind" of exposure, or dos and don'ts. So after reading this, you still need to explore a lot on your own.

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