Teaching your children another language other than the mother tongue can be beneficial to them later in life. These days English is the most spoken language in the world. In saying that there is no stopping you to teach your children a second language. I grew up in Germany which means my mother tongue is German.
When you read that you would probably assume that my kids are fluent in German. Unfortunately that is not the case. Some may find that a disaster and think “how can you not teach your children your own language?”. There is a simple reason behind this.
Overtime when you live in a household, where all you speak is English, will get to you eventually. I have no relationship to anyone else who speaks German apart from a friend who lives around the corner but I don’t see her that much. So even if it is my mother tongue, I find myself quite a few times thinking or even looking up what that word was in German. I hope I am not alone on this and there are other bilingual mums out there who have the same problem sometimes.
Nevertheless I do like my children to speak my language eventually. I know Matthew will turn 4 this week but when they are yet so small, they pick up on new words quite quickly. The key to this project is, stay consistent. All Matthew speaks in creche is obviously English. There should be always the one parent who speaks English and the other parent teaches the second language at home.
One step at a time
Matthew is watching a lot of TV… sometimes too much in my opinion. But can you avoid it these days? If they are not watching TV, they are on the tablet or playing a game. Anyway, to take a small step forward, the cartoons he likes watching, I should start turning them on in German. The episodes repeat themselves and he knows some off by heart. This can come in quite handy for teaching him another language. On repeat.
Consistency is crucial
I suppose this is the time where I need to “man” up and start speaking German only in our home. As we are moving house in 2 months time, it is going to be a bit easier having hubby around all the time and not being away for 3 days.
It requires a lot of effort and time to teach your child another language. Invest some extra time. I bought a few German books a few years ago. In the evening times or during the weekend, I could sit down with Matthew and read him a small paragraph of it. Again I need to keep repeating it.
There will be mix ups
Speaking two languages will find your child mixing up the languages no doubt, but don’t worry about it. They will adapt eventually. Instead of them speaking English, they will speak “Denglish” (Deutsch-English).
Proud Parent Moment
Remember, at the end of all the hard work you will have a proud parent moment. I will just have to get that into my head. It will be all worth it in the end.