Mostcountries are made up of different people who trace their roots fromall over the world. The people speak different languages due to theirdifferent traditions and cultures. Parents who have children whospeak at least two languages will to a large extent have otherrelatives in the country of origin. It is quite important that theybe able to communicate still with their families. Communicating withtheir grandparents is vital so that they can be in a position tofamiliarize themselves with their family backgrounds.
When they overstay at their extended relatives in a family that isbilingual can bring forth some benefits to the bilingual child.(Baker,2001) However, it can bring out a lot of challenges to the children fromthis families. It is, therefore, important for the parents of thesekids to offer a lot of support to these children. The support stemsfrom the fact that these children encounter challenges from withintheir closest neighbors, relatives, peers at school and also from thecommunity, on a daily basis.
Itis an evident fact that most parents to bilingual children strive tomake them learn their mother tongue. Learning their first languageprovides pride to them since they equip themselves with theircultural heritage. (Leopold,1939)Nonetheless, they are quite determined to see them still progress andsucceed in school as well as in the broader society. Parents withbilingual children will tend to work more so as they can promote bothlanguages. Most of the times this is challenged by those extendedfamilies wit6h members who are unaware of the bilingual parents`desire for bilingualism. Thus, during a prolonged visit to amonolingual family, it might interrupt the attainment of duallanguage.
Anothercommon challenge that may highly face bilingual children in anextended family that is monolingual is the high probability ofdisapproving bilingualism. The disapproval is mainly entrenchedwithin the monolingual grandparents. The grandparents who have beenbrought up in a deep-rooted culture of monolinguals tend to expressdislike for bilingual grandchildren.
Fora child to be able to understand and comprehend two languages, thechild should be exposed to both the languages on a steady basis.Frequent vacations to his or her monolingual relatives are quiteimportant in the child`s attainment of bilingualism. The more theexposure, the greater the chance of the child mastering the language.Also, the use of the alternative language at home can highly assistthe child to communicate efficiently with their extended monolingualfamilies. (Baker,2001)The idea of fostering a bilingual kid seems appealing and is alsobecoming more and more possible today for many families. Todaygrowing up with more than one language is becoming more and moreattractive as it has so many advantages in the current world since itis a global village.
Aparent who is willing to bring up their children in a bilingual wayneeds to first develop their first two languages learning strategies.(Leopold,1939)The parent should then embark on choosing an accurate school as wellas safe after-school activities for their children. They should alsodevelop active networks where their kids can be able to practice thefirst two languages with others.
However,the methods and language that are used to assist bilingual kids to beable to communicate effectively with the extended family depend onvarious situations and the desires of a particular family. (Baker,2001)The parents when training their children on two languages should alsoput in place plans that will stress the boundaries between the twolanguages. The kid should be able to tell what language is mostappropriate to be productive at home and which one is suitable forthe larger community and school.
Baker,C. (2001). Foundationsof bilingual education and bilingualism.Clevedon [England]: Multilingual Matters.
Leopold,W. (1939). Speechdevelopment of a bilingual child.Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University.