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Top 10 Challenges To Overcome While Raising A Bilingual Child In Arabic

Top 10 Challenges To Overcome While Raising A Bilingual Child In Arabic

Are you facing challenges while raising your bilingual Arabic child? Let’s discuss  10 challenges and tips on how to overcome them. 

How to Start to Learn Arabic

Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages in the world. Especially, if you come in as an English speaker, you may find that there are few similarities between English and Arabic. These significant differences will make parents confused about how to start teaching their kids in Arabic. Familiarizing your kids with Arabic by creating an immersive experience at home can help get things started. You can check out our recommendations on starter kits for kids to learn Arabic at home. Decorating your kids’ bedrooms with Arabic posters or using Arabic flashcards to play with your children can help get them started on their language learning journey. Creating an environment where they consistently see and hear Arabic helps their brains function like that of native speakers.

Pronunciation

One of the difficult things about Arabic for beginners is pronunciation. Many sounds in Arabic are not found in other languages. Most of them even call for a precise articulation at the back of the throat, which can be difficult to get just right. However, simply memorizing the pronunciation can become boring for children. One tip for parents is to include music in the learning process. 

These musical books for kids are a fun way to incorporate music into the language learning process. Besides the educational activity of reading, children will be able to discover, sing and learn songs in full autonomy as each page has a button that allows them to play an extract. Each nursery rhyme is transcribed in Arabic as well as phonetic Arabic, making it easy to read along.

Script

Unlike English, Arabic is a pictograph language. Writing Arabic is artistic, but can be a challenge for beginners. Since written Arabic differs so significantly from the Latin-based alphabets that English speakers are used to, many people give up soon after they start. Before writing the script, parents should spend more time helping their children memorize the alphabet since there are only 28 letters. Using early learning resources such as Arabic flashcards or educational games with the theme of the Arabic alphabet will help your kids familiarize themselves with the letters.

Vocabulary

Learning new vocabulary is always a challenge that learners have to face when starting a new language. Especially for bilingual kids, memorizing words in different languages is tough or they prefer to memorize the easier language. Interesting educational games such as Puzzle Learning Kit will help your kids enjoy studying. The kit is written in three languages (English, Arabic, and Indonesia) and will enhance your kids' vocabulary about the different occupations. Combining visuals and vocabulary is also a great way to improve lexical resources in Arabic for beginners.

Top 10 Challenges To Overcome While Raising A Bilingual Child In Arabic - Language Learning Market

Speaking

Even after your kids have learned a lot of new vocabulary words, it is still not easy to speak Arabic fluently for kids. One difficulty is determining what word to use for which occasion. There are multiple variations of nouns and syntaxes according to what part of the Arabic-speaking world you are learning. Frequently speaking to native speakers is the best way. however, not everyone can move to a native-speaking country. 

Using online Arabic education is the best alternative. For example, on the Talk in Arabic website, learners can access the highest quality video and audio learning material from all over the Middle East and North Africa. Or if you are looking for high-quality language learning programs delivered by native speakers, check out NaTakallam. Arabic for (“we speak,” NaTakallam harnesses the digital economy to produce high-quality, curated language services delivered by refugees and their host communities. 

Mixing two languages

Children frequently begin a phrase in one language and end it in another. Children express themselves using whatever words they know or are more familiar with. However, code-mixing is typically a short-term phase for children learning two languages. This is perfectly normal and quite common! Mixing is not an indication of language confusion. In contrast, it is evidence that your kids seem to distinguish their two languages from the start. So, parents should not confuse or postpone their teaching plan, instead, they can move forward with a  plan to immerse their children in both languages.

Outside support

Even if parents have established Arabic immersion in their homes, their children must participate in language activities outside of the home. However, finding multilingual events in your neighborhood is not always easy. Language schools, cultural centers, after-school programs, and day camps can be found in the Learning Language Directory. You can narrow down the results by language, region, and the types of activities your children desire to do.

Parents’ commitment

Consistency isn't always easy, especially in homes when only one parent speaks the target language. It's hard and tough to keep up a constant stream of Arabic. It's sometimes just easier to let someone react in the opposite language since that's how they communicate best. Or maybe parents are too busy to add on more learning language activities. Language learning works best when it is integrated into all of our busy everyday routines and many activities. Cooking an Arabic-style meal instead and talking to your kids about food in Arabic, changing books for bedtime reading with bilingual ones, or replacing the old decoration with Arabic posters are great ideas that don’t require a lot of effort.

Motivation

Children tend to only do things that they find fun and enjoyable. That is why lots of kids may find that the learning process is boring and they soon lack motivation. To overcome that problem, parents can replace traditional worksheets with educational games in Arabic which are more attractive to their kids. Alphabet puzzles, coloring books, or wooden blocks are fun to play with and an easy way to learn Arabic for kids.

Top 10 Challenges To Overcome While Raising A Bilingual Child In Arabic - Language Learning Market

Starting too late

Language learning is thought to be easier for younger children. It is, however, never too late to begin! You can begin parenting bilingual children right now by starting with simple activities or increasing your children's exposure to Arabic. If you're not sure where to begin, have a look at our starter kits for your kids to learn Arabic.

Hope that our recommendation can help parents while raising Arabic bilingual children. You can also check out Language Learning Marketplace to find more Arabic language learning resources.