Bilingual Tips from Dr. Sears

According to Dr. Sears, I am on the right track in my attempt at raising Becca to speak Spanish and English. He confirms what I have read and heard from others:

  1. Each parent should speak one language – The child connects the language to one particular parent and does less switching between the languages. This has been harder to do then I expected. Since my MIL speaks mostly Spanish, I find that we often speak Spanish or “spanglish” at home.
  2. Speak the minority language at home – A number of people had mentioned that when a child starts school it can be hard to maintain the second language. So I was thinking it might be helpful to switch exclusively to Spanish at home once Becca is in school. This definitely encourages me to do that (and it encourages me to improve my own Spanish).

Becca has been making progress with speaking English and Spanish and seems to respond to both. Right now, I would say that she has more Spanish words than English. I am okay with that because she is being exposed to English and I know she will definitely pick it up at school. I also want to make sure that she is exposed to her Mexican culture and her Irish-American culture. It is important to me that she is proud of her heritage. My biggest concern right now is that she is exposed to quality Spanish and quality English. If she is just learning ‘spanglish’ than we are wasting our time.

Mary Kate

P.S. If you would like to read the rest of the article, click here for the link.



Filed under Bilingual Child

6 responses to “Bilingual Tips from Dr. Sears

  1. My MIL speaks Russian to my baby. She doesn’t speak it exclusively, though, so it’s not going to do much good.

    Also, Dr. Sears let his kids sleep in bed with him and his wife until they were 3. He scares me.

  2. mkate

    You might be surprised what your daughter picks up. As for Dr. Sears, I was surprised he was giving tips on raising a bilingual child but since they supported a lot of what I heard I thought it was worth posting.

  3. We are a bilingual home and Abby (who is 2) shows no problem speaking or understanding both. But like you said, it can be a challenge for to speak mainly one language. 😀 We purchased the Rosetta stone II package and Abby loves spending 30 min a day on the computer like her older siblings and is really picking up most of it-quickly!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ps. I loved the paper booties post! What a great idea! We are getting ready to show our house and I will definately be purchasing a box of these!!

  4. mkate


    That is a great idea! I have wanted to purchase the Rosetta stone for me but wasn’t sure it was worth it but now I can have it for Becca and I. Thanks!

  5. Jo

    Excellent idea! Our children are raising their two little boys (7and 5) to speak both English and Spanish . They are also teaching them sign language through a series of “Signing Time” DVD’s.

  6. mkate

    Jo~ I love hearing about others who are trying to raise a bilingual child. I would love to hear about their experience.

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