By Colin Baker
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Extra resources for A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism, 2nd ed (Parents' and Teachers' Guides, 1)
One major difference between animals and humans is language. Through language, a child is cared for, cherished, cultivated and cultured. One barrier between nations and ethnic groups tends to be language, and it is sometimes a barrier to communication and to creating friendly relationships. Bilinguals in the home, in the community and in society can lower such barriers; they can be bridges within the nuclear and extended family, within the community and across societies. Those who speak one language symbolize that essential difference between animals and people.
A smile, a 'well done', a pat on the back and kindly praise do wonders for a child's motivation. If the parent thinks that second language development is important, the child will soon regard it as important as well. If the parent thinks that second language learning is of high status, the child will grow in status by identifying with the parents' wishes. Second language support may also be provided by parents in the form of cassettes, videos, books, posters and comics. One limitation of bilingualism learned in the street is that the level of language development is specific to that environment.
Previous page page_13 next page > < previous page page_14 next page > Page 14 A8 Neither of Us Speaks a Second Language. How Can We Help Our Child Become Bilingual? If you are keen on your child becoming bilingual, there are many other routes than within the family. Some children pick up a second language by attending a nursery school, play group or with a childminder, babysitter or au-pair. If a child has a continuity of second language experience outside the home, the child can become bilingual.
A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism, 2nd ed (Parents' and Teachers' Guides, 1) by Colin Baker