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

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

Raising bilingual children comes with both benefits and challenges. Let’s look at 10 common problems to overcome while teaching your bilingual child in Spanish and some tips for parents.

Lack of Spanish educational resources

The first step can be difficult to take because parents can not find early learning resources in Spanish. Especially with non-native parents, finding educational resources in bilingual Spanish may be overwhelming. If you google “teach Spanish”, there are over 2 billion search results, which feels daunting to choose the appropriate resources for your children. If you are looking for categorized resources, check out Language Learning Marketplace for Spanish. Hundreds of learning resources to teach Spanish are organized in different product categories and learning levels. 

Language Fluency Delay

Speech delay is one of the most common challenges while raising children to speak Spanish. Bilingualism does not cause speech delays, according to a study, but it may take some children longer to become fluent in both or all languages. While this isn't true for all children, it is quite natural because your children are consuming double language resources. One tip for this situation is to engage your children in several educational activities. Even if your kids seem to not react to the activities, frequent exposure to languages can help them a lot. Parents can choose educational games in Spanish to make their kids enjoy the learning process.

Lack of Spanish immersion

One of the common challenges is that parents are the only language input for their children. Since most bilingual children can’t live in Spanish-speaking countries, they can only learn the language through their parents’ daily speaking. Starting to create a Spanish corner in your home will help your children a lot to enjoy the learning process and naturally acquire Spanish. Check out our recommendations to create Spanish immersion at home for your kids.

Preference of one language over the other

For a variety of reasons, bilingual children frequently have a favorite language to speak. It may be because it is the dominant language and they are most exposed to it, or there is a simpler language for them to learn. To encourage your children to speak in both languages, choosing bilingual activities is an ideal option. You can start from familiar activities such as Spanish flashcards which are designed bilingually or reading Spanish bilingual books with your children. 

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

Reading and Writing

While children love to talk to their parents and friends, most of them don’t enjoy learning how to read and write. Since reading and writing refer to more academic activities, children may find them boring. Moreover, teaching your kids how to read and write may require more effort. However, you can choose fun activities such as reading short stories before bedtime or writing letters. You can also check out our recommendations on fun learning resources for preschoolers and early elementary.

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

Misuse between two languages

It is normal for children to begin a phrase in one language and end it in another. Children tend to express themselves using whatever words they know, so if they lack vocabulary or grammar in one language, they may simply fill in the gaps with another. A tip for parents is to find Spanish educational resources which can help your kids improve their lexical foundation such as using flashcards, posters, themed educational toys, etc. During playing with these educational activities, parents can take notice of the types of mistakes they are making and work on them during playtime repeating those sentences to help them learn.

Parents’ commitment

Especially with families where parents can understand both languages, consistency isn't always simple. It's exhausting and difficult to maintain speaking Spanish all of the time. It's sometimes just easier to let someone react in the opposite language because that's how they communicate best, or parents don't even notice. Engaging in your children’s learning process as much as possible will help you overcome this challenge.

Support from your community

Even if parents have created Spanish immersion in their homes, it is also important to have language activities outside for their kids. However, sometimes it is not easy to find bilingual events in your neighborhood. Check out Learning Language Directory to discover several clubs and schools for Spanish bilingual children. You can filter the results based on language, location, and the type of activities that your kids want to engage in.

Losing the Second Language When Schooling Begins

Going to school might mean children will talk and be exposed to the majority language, which can make them slowly forget Spanish if they don't have enough practice. In this case, as mentioned before, parents’ commitment is important so they don't switch to the majority language when talking to their children. Creating Spanish immersion, finding extracurricular activities in Spanish are great ideas.

Starting too late

It is believed that younger children can learn languages easier. However, it is never too late to start! You can start raising bilingual children right now, beginning with easy activities or letting your kids be exposed to Spanish more frequently. If you don't know how to start, check out our recommendations on starter kits for your children to learn Spanish.

Hope that these tips can help parents overcome challenges in Spanish. You can also check out Language Learning Marketplace to find more resources for learning and teaching Spanish.