Book review: Bringing up a Bilingual Child
Bringing up a Bilingual Child is a practical guide for parents of bilinguals. It addresses all the major challenges multilingual families face and proposes solutions that are easy to implement. Written by Rita Rosenback, author of the blog Multilingual Parenting, it revolves around the seven principles of parenting children who speak several languages: Communication, Confidence, Commitment, Consistency, Creativity, Culture and Celebration.
I had interacted with Rita before through the Multicultural Kids Blogs group, but had the chance to meet her during the FIGT conference last year, and she was kind enough to offer me a copy of her book.
Rita’s book is useful if you’re raising your kids to be multilingual and need to chose a communication strategy, or find out how to adjust to a major change of circumstances like another relocation, for example. The tips in the book help turn the multilingual challenge into an engaging and fun experience as well.
In our case, when we moved from the Netherlands back to Portugal we were unable to keep our daughter’s fluency in Dutch, but have been working on her English, mostly because it’s easier for us than Dutch and she shows an interest. We use some of the strategies mentioned in Rita’s book, like switching directly to English during conversations, watching cartoons and reading bedtime stories in English.
We take the whole multilingual process very lightly at our house and only do it because our daughter is motivated, but if we were more serious about it (if we moved again that would be a major motivator) we would definitely turn to this book to define a more structured approach.
Rita will be attending FIGT conference again this year, so if you’re going don’t miss out on meeting her and buying her book. Thanks Rita for a great resource!