A guide to raising bilingual children
By Amy Paturel
Simone's mom reads, sings and talks to him in French. In fact, Melissa Da, a French-American from Baltimore, only speaks her native language to the 2 1/2-year-old.
The goal? To raise him to be bilingual.
The number of U.S. residents age 5 and older who speak a language other than English at home has more than doubled in the past three decades. Parents like Da and Jennifer Ghurani of Hawthorne, California, are a small part of the reason why. "I want Delila to know where she's from and be able to interact with her extended family," says Ghurani, who's teaching her daughter to speak Arabic.
If you've ever thought about raising your kid to be multilingual, now's the perfect time to start. "Babies are wired for language," says Naomi Steiner M.D., developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center, and author of "7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child."
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