Parents who are in-migrants sometimes strive to integrate into the host nation. For some families, this means language change. The danger is in thinking that the mother's language interaction with the child is all-important. Research in language development has shown the important contribution of the father.
The danger is in undervaluing the role of fathers. This also implies that fathers need to be aware of the important role they play in child language development.
Some fathers have relatively fewer hours of employment, or are unemployed. Leisure time has grown in this century. In such situations, the role of the father in language development has become more important. Some fathers stay at home to raise the children while the mother goes out to work. Research has shown that much of mothers' language interaction with their children is about basic housekeeping functions e. Fathers often have opportunities to play with their children, allowing considerable language stimulation.
Many fathers interact with their children in child-centered ways.
A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Bilingual Education and Bilingualism) [Colin Baker, Ofelia Garcia] Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items. Series: Bilingual Education and Bilingualism ( Book 5). guirototdowar.gq: A Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (Parents' and Teachers' Note: Available at a lower price from other sellers that may not offer free 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 . on bilingualism include Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.
Thus a father's contribution to a child's language development is sometimes underemphasized. In some families e.
In this situation, fathers and mothers need to be conscious and aware of their important role in the child's language development. Fathers can be encouraged to take pride in their conversations with the child, even at the babbling and cooing stage. Even before the child says its first word, the baby picks up the sounds of the second language from the father as well as the mother. As the baby grows to a young child, the father plays an important role in the quantity of language interaction.
Fathers as well as mothers need to vary the contexts in which language is used to give that child a wider language experience. Fathers also influence the attitudes of their children to languages. Whether the father is positive or negative about bilingualism will considerably affect the child. For example, if the father is skeptical about bilingualism, or doesn't like the mother using her 'own' language, the child will soon pick up these negative vibrations and language behavior will be affected.
On the other hand, if a father encourages his children's bilingualism, applauds them speaking to their mother in her 'own' language, the effect on the child's language confidence and attitudes will be substantial. An important decision between husband and wife concerns what language to use with each other when the child is present. Sometimes that language is naturally the one always used in the partnership. Yet for the child's sake, consideration needs giving to achieving a rough balance within the family between the two languages. This may help promote both languages approximately equally.
Therefore, the answer to the question is that both parents are very important in the child's language development. There is a need for engineering of the language environment in the home. Just as the dietary balance of meals is increasingly of interest and debate in families, so it is important that the diet of language in the home is also open to discussion.
The language diet of the home taking into account the language of the community and school needs considering. A recipe needs formulating and testing. The language ingredients of the meal need to show variety and color if the child is to enjoy being a bilingual. As experience with the recipe grows, additional ingredients may be included, the balance between ingredients may change and adjustments will be made to suit different tastes and palates.
Both mothers and fathers are important chefs in the language kitchen. There are many families who have raised bilingual children without discussion or disagreement. For some parents, raising bilingual children is natural, normal and nothing to be discussed. In many economically developing countries of the world, bilingual, trilingual and multilingual children are often the norm rather than the exception.
In such areas, there is nothing peculiar or exceptional about bilingual children.
Bilingualism is accepted and expected. In other families, debates about the languages in which a child should grow take place before birth, after birth, during childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. If you are one of these families, consider yourselves typical and not different; normal and not deviant.
The most positive thing is that children's bilingualism is being discussed and debated. Just as many parents discuss the manners, television viewing habits, hair styles and clothes of their children, so language is an important area for a family to consider openly. Discussion about a child's languages can be about the pattern of relationships that exist in the family, about relationships with grandparents and uncles and aunts, about schooling, about interaction with the community, about future employment and job prospects, and importantly about a child's self-concept, self-esteem and selfenhancement.
Discussion about raising a child bilingually or monolingually is not just about language. It is very much about the whole child. It is about the sense of security and status that a child will have, a child's self-identity and identity with a community and language group. When there is disagreement, consider language as just one part of a child's whole development. It's about personality, potential and the pleasure of a secure and stimulating period of childhood. Bilingualism in the child cannot be considered in total isolation. Bilingualism is one major part of the jigsaw of the child's total development.
The fit of the bilingualism part of the jigsaw into the total picture of the child's development requires dialogue between parents. If there is disagreement in the family, consider writing down the advantages and disadvantages. Consider the pluses and minuses on a 'balance sheet'. Rather than argue about one or two points and let emotions sway, consider the widest variety of factors mentioned in this book.
There needs to be a long-term view of the development of the child and not just a short-term, 'here and now' viewpoint. In the final balance sheet, who counts most? Consider the interests of the child and not just the short-term preferences of the parents. One danger is that one parent may insist on a personal strongly felt language opinion, without adequate consideration of what is in the best interests of the child. With care and consideration, a parent may sometimes feel it possible to sacrifice an opinion in the best interests of the child.
For example, if the father worries that he cannot understand what the mother is saying to the child in her heritage language, is a child's bilingualism to be sacrificed because of the father's concern? With diplomacy, love and meeting problems as challenges to be overcome, solutions and understandings can be gained. A father in this example may find it possible to forgo understanding conversations between mother and child in order for the child to become fluently bilingual. The challenge may be for the father to change rather than the child.
Can the father at least gain a passive understanding of the minority language rather than a child lose out on bilingualism? In short, disagreements need tactfully resolving. Open and frank, positive and empathic discussion is the route to resolution.
The most important destination to discuss is the long-term interests of the child. There is an instant answer to this question.
If raising the child to be bilingual doesn't affect the marriage, there is something odd about the marriage! However, the way the question is posed hints that it will have a negative effect. The hint in the question may be that a bilingual child could be disruptive. A second example is when parents have to consider what language to speak to each other in front of the child; whether to switch languages when grandparents, relations, friends and others come into the home.
When a minority language is used at home, and majority language monolinguals come into the home, do parents switch their languages when speaking to their children? Bilingualism in the family opens up extra areas for discussion and decisions.