How to raise a bilingual child at home?

One of the biggest challenges of bilingual parents is how to raise a child bilingually. Most research reports that bilingual children have greater cognitive skills and social awareness than their monolingual peers.

The sooner you start learning the language, the better. There is no age limit for starting a child. A useful tool for teaching the language is Happy Ent's smart flash cards. If you see that the child cannot speak both languages correctly at first, do not worry. Research has shown that bilingualism does not lead to language delays at all. It is normal for your child to merge languages at first. A monolingual child uses other strategies such as using words like "this thing" or "like". A bilingual child uses his other language to fill in the gaps. Sometimes bilingual children start speaking later. Experts say that this delay is temporary and the advantage of knowing two languages is greater than its few disadvantages.


The problems of a child being bilingual

Everything is going well and suddenly parents find it very challenging to maintain their child's bilingualism. This often happens when your child starts school. Here are some tips to overcome this problem:


don't give up

This phenomenon is normal and happens a lot with the minority language, especially when the child starts school. Don't worry, your child is just trying to create his own identity. They try to fit in with others. Maybe a (flexible) rule like speaking the minority language at certain times of the day or different places in the house would be helpful.


Being bilingual is valuable

A strong partnership between both parents is essential in maintaining bilingualism. This does not mean that both parents must speak fluently. This means that both of you should value the language spoken at home.

Encourage your child

Both parents should encourage the child in his "bilingualism" but not directly. It is very important to encourage your child and understand what it means to be bilingual. You have to remember that although bilingualism is common, the world still sees it as an exception and if your child attends a mainstream school, they will be seen as different because of being bilingual.



It is important for the child to understand that the minority language is spoken in other places, not just at home. They need to see that many people speak their own language, not just their mother or father. If children can communicate and play in their own language, they understand the need to speak the minority language. Having friends around or enrolling your child in a playgroup where the minority language is spoken will really help.


common mistakes of parents in raising a bilingual child

Raising bilingual children is difficult and there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you want your child to be confident in their language. Here are some mistakes to avoid:


to make fun of

Your child will face many mistakes and sometimes it will be very hard not to laugh at them. However, children are very sensitive and you should be careful not to discourage them. Children need to be reassured and admired, not ridiculed.


Correct mistakes

While correcting children is important, you must be careful not to destroy their self-confidence. Children who are overcorrected in their second language are reluctant to speak for fear of saying the wrong thing. One way to correct your child is to just say what he said nicely so that he hears it the right way and not to praise him as much as possible.



Learning a language should be fun. Children should not be tested regularly. If they feel they are being evaluated and judged, they will no longer want to engage in language.


being inflexible 

You have to be firm but also flexible. Speaking a second language should not be a problem for your child. Try to make it as natural and fun as possible or it will become a struggle for everyone in the family, especially as your child gets older.



Language is not only a tool used to communicate but also an important symbol that shows you belong to a certain group. It is part of your identity. When a child enters school, he has to fit in with others. This is why children try to adapt to the country they live in and sometimes refuse to speak the language spoken at home. 

The reaction of some professionals can jeopardize the language development of a bilingual child. In fact, some professionals (teachers, speech therapists, etc.) may encourage a bilingual child with a speech delay to abandon his language in order to make the most of the school language. These professionals have no knowledge of the fact that the child already has language.