Play the Beeping Game with Your Bilingual Children

by Corey · 1 comment

Multilingual Living reader, Carla, sent in the following “game” she and her family play to make sure everyone is using the minority language as much as possible.  The fun in it is that everyone can do the beeping – parents and kids!  Make sure to keep it fun so that no one starts to feel bitter about being beeped too much.  If you and your family are doing the One Hour a Day of Language Learning adventure see if you can add this in, just for the fun of it!

Thank you Carla for taking the time to send in this wonderful suggestion!

We only speak Spanish at home with our kids because we live in Virginia and they get plenty of English at school (even though they’re in an immersion program) and with friends.

We have been very diligent and from ages 0-6 we read to them like crazy in Spanish so they have a very good Spanish language vocabulary.  I also play lots of games with them to keep that up, and do writing activities with them.

At one point in time, I came up with the idea of a beeping game once I was able to visit website here.  I told the kids that if they heard us speak English to each other, they could beep us and if we heard them speaking English to each other or to their Spanish-speaking little cousins, etc., we would beep them. They do not like to get beeped and so they avoid it.

My kids speak, ages 9 and 11, speak  to each other in Spanish at all times even in front of other kids, which is great!

I remember one evening when my kids had gone to bed, our door was closed and I was tired.  I said something to my husband in English and from down the hall I hear my son saying “Beeeeeeeeeeep!”


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Tyeisha September 23, 2010 at 7:37 am

This sounds like a really good idea. I guess since we are still not a fully bilingual family we can just try to implement this rule on words that we know in Spanish.

Thanks for the idea.


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