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As a parent of children that my wife and I struggle to keep bilingual in both English and Mandarin, I feel you left out the importance of the parent's attitude in determining the children's language skills. If the parents value the children speaking in a language other than that used at home they need to convince their children how important it is. I constantly tell my 5 and 6 yo kids how many more opportunities they will have if they are fluent in Mandarin when they grow up. We also use "tricks" to make language study appealing, such as restricting about half of their television to Mandarin movies we own on DVD. (This worked beautifully in reverse with English while we lived in China.) Of course these concepts need to be reversed in the case of ESL. But I believe that to be most successful in second language acquisition, parents need to give up some amount of communication with their kids to help them improve in the language the parents do not speak.
posted 3 years, 4 months ago
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