Aug 192015
 August 19, 2015  bilingualism

Raising Multilingual Kids: Can a Non-Native Speaker Raise Bilingual Children? |

When it comes to raising bilingual children, many non-native speakers (such as myself!) are plagued with doubts.  How well can we really teach our children a second language?

In the beginning, my husband and I used the One Parent One Language method.  In other words, he – as a native Spanish speaker – would speak to our son only in Spanish, and I – as a native English speaker – would speak to our son only in English (read more about language learning methods).

But eventually found that this method was not very successful for our family.  As a result, when our second child was born, we switched tactics and I began speaking more Spanish at home, especially to the little one.  And while this heavier concentration on our minority language is more successful, it does raise the question of how helpful it is to have a non-native speaker teaching the kids a second language.

So based on my experiences – and my observations of other families – do I think a non-native speaker can raise bilingual children?  Go to the video below to find out!

Can a Non-Native Speaker Raise Bilingual Children?

Question from Kid World Citizen

This post is part of this year’s Vlogging Telephone from Multicultural Kid Blogs.  Here’s how it works: think of it like a big chain, where one blogger asks a question, to be answered by the next blogger, who asks another question to be answered by the next blogger, and so on!  All of the questions are related to a topic, which this year is Raising Multilingual Kids.  (If you missed it, be sure to check out last year’s Vlogging Telephone on Travel with Kids!)

The question I’m answering above is from Kid World Citizen.  To follow the chain, visit the piri-piri lexicon to find out how she responds to my question: “What do you do when you meet resistance from your child to learning/speaking another language?”


  4 Responses to “Raising Multilingual Kids: Can a Non-Native Speaker Raise Bilingual Children?”

  1. This is such an inspiring answer for parents around the world who might not speak a language natively, but hope their kids can still acquire a second (or third, or fourth!) language. Thank you so much Leanna!!! These are fabulous tips! 🙂

    • Thank you for asking such a thought-provoking question! I bet it is something on a lot of people’s minds!

  2. […] with short spoken conversations between Mister G and his friends.  Especially if you are a non-native speaker or – even if you aren’t – if you don’t have many Spanish speakers in your […]

  3. This was really inspiring, especially since I plan to teach my kids Mandarin as well. My worry is that I’m not an adequate enough teacher since I’m not a native Mandarin speaker. Your video has given me a confidence boost.Thank you so much! 🙂

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