Raising bilingual children

I’m trying to raise a bilingual child, even though at times I feel one language is getting the upper hand over the other.


I’ve done endless reading on how children acquire different languages and the most affective method is the ‘one speaker one language’ system, that is when a father and mother speak two different languages each speaks solely and exclusively his or her language to the child. The theory is that that child picks up vocabulary easily from an early age.


Experts suggest that a third language can be introduced by a nanny or playgroup which brings in another language through socialising and play.


The idea of two languages is confusing for me (not for Matty he seems to handle it all with great finesse) as I am trying to speak English to a child surrounded by Italian speakers in Italy. The challenge is to expose my son to English from other sources such as t.v, DVD’s and other kids. I’m doing my best on the first two but Matty hears very little English conversation. At times I think I’m losing the battle.


Yet despite my worries I am surprised when Matty understands complex instructions in English and how he says one word in Italian and the next in English. I’ve read persistence is the key and not to lose energy or focus it’s important to remember it’s all a game for the child.


So deep breathe and keep up that enthusiasm.