Parents play a critical role in a child’s language development. Studies have shown that children who are read to and spoken with a great deal during early childhood will have larger vocabularies and better grammar than those who aren’t. Usually Armenian Moms are the ones who spend more time on child’s language skills, but father’s role can not be ignored. Father’s play a critical role in teaching their children Armenian language, especially for a families living outside of Armenia.
It is a common knowledge that when fathers interact with their children, they engage less in baby talk, also called “motherese”. Fathers, by speaking to their children more like adults, act as a link to the outside world by helping them deal with unfamiliar speech. Here are 10 tips to fathers to get started…
1 – It takes time and efforts
The process of developing child’s second language knowledge and made him/her a bilingual kid is a long one, and ussually requires time and efforts. So make sure you have the patience and are ready to spend a little more time on language exercises. Talk to your partner about creating the right circumstances and the natural environment for bringing up a bilingual child.
2 – You need a clear list of steps
Every step taken by you or your partner needs to be planned ahead. Your family needs to agree on the decision to bring up a bilingual child and everyone should have their clear roles in that process. Decide for yourself the degree of bilingualism considering if you want the child to only speak, or also read and write in the second language. The decision will help you to itemize your to dos in the right direction. Our free “Parent’s Guide to teaching the Armenian language” is a great helping guide for teaching Armenian as a second language.
3 – Try to make it FUN and interactive!
Once you have made all your decisions and have clear list of steps, it is high time to involve all family members in the process. There is a risk that children may choose automatically to stick to the majority language, but minority language speaker parent should not get disappointed. One of the main reason we created Playland Armenia was to give families a fun point to start teaching Armenian language skills, so download it FREE and start using playing with your child today.
4 – You need to spend some more time and resources to make it happen
Everything in the world requires time, especially the children. This is true and all parents will admit the time spent on the child adds the values and the knowledge they are wish their child to gain. You need to always find more time for talking to the children, for bedtime reading, for walks and for games. This will add your opportunities of bringing up a bilingual child. The best investment is to become a member of Playland and get all the workbook material for just $29.99, a discount off the regular $49.99 price.
5 – Devote 30% of the day to the Armenian language
This mnay sound difficult, but as it was said above it takes time and efforts to bring up a bilingual child. There is a general recommendation that children should be exposed to a language at least thirty percent of their day time to naturally become bilingual. Decide on the types of language exposure, like reading, writing activities, songs, cartoon or educational videos. It also depends on the child taking into account how capable he/she is and also how much the language is spoken at home.
6 – You can achieve it if you want
There will be people that will tell you it is not a good idea to start teaching the second language from early age. Even your partner may not agree to take the responsibility. But do not get desperate, there are always the ways to prove the opposite. Try to persuade your partner and show all the benefits of being a bilingual, and that it is ery important to you that your child speaks your language. Consider different opinions, but always do what your heart tells you. If it is something you will be proud of, then do it!
7 – Don’t listen to the others that doubt your success
Always choose to listen to those who know what they are talking about. If it is an advice from a professional based on accurate facts and ideas, then it is fine to discuss. But never listen to those who just have an opinion about how difficult it is. You have a goal, and you need to reach there.
8 – Yes, it is difficult
There are always all sorts of challenges and difficulties to overcome along your family’s multilingual journey. There are many diffirent things to consider before you decide it is easy to achieve. The main thing is never to stop and consider every minute spent on language teaching a valuable time commitment. This is why our language experts have included all kinds of exercises and tasks like creating a shopping list, a family tree and much more daily tasks that can be done in Armenian.
9 – Your child might answer you in the majority language
This problem is always there for the minority language parent. You feel desperate that you have done so many things, and stayed focused, have omplemented so many techniques and tools, but no successm your childs prefers to speak the majority language. It is very important that you do not give up in this phase and continue to stay focused on your goal. Try to involve your majority language speaker partner to help get the child to consider your language equally important.
10 – Your children will gain a lot of benefits by knowing more than one language
Have you made your decision to bring up a bilingual child and there is a misconsensus between you and your partner? Try to list all of the benefits that your child will gain. They are so many and so important. Present these benefits and get ideas from other parents who experienced it once.
Here is also a great infographic from www.BHLingual.com which says it all: