Your Multilingual Child Only Wants Books in One Language?

by Corey · 0 comments

Frustrated with your multilingual children always choosing books in the majority language?  It can drive a parent into frustration!

What should you do when your multilingual child wants you to read a book in the majority language?  There are very few parents who aren’t confronted with this situation at some point along their multilingual parenting journey!

As parents of multilingual children, often we try to translate books on the fly into our language.  But as the books become more complex, it becomes more difficult.  At some point our children start to realize what we are doing and complain that we aren’t reading the actual words.  This can make a parent want to throw in the towel!

Before giving up completely, take the first of many steps toward multilingual compromise.

One solution is to read the books in the majority language but to always discuss what is being read in the second language.  For example, if you are reading a book in English, go ahead and read the words in English and then discuss the pictures and the story in your language.

This is a wonderful way to keep languages alive in your multilingual children without having to translate books on the fly.  This will also stimulate your children to think more about the story and will help create bolster vocabulary and meaning in both languages.

What tips can you share about this topic?  Do you still translate on the fly? Or have you found your own solutions?

Corey Heller is the founder of Multilingual Living and the Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Multilingual Living Magazine. Multilingual Living is the place where she shares her knowledge about raising multilingual and multicultural children. Corey, an American, and her German husband live in Seattle where they raise and homeschool their three children, ages 15, 14 and 12, in German and English.

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