7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child Paperback – Nov 13 2008
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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.
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.
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!
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