Did you know that since 2006 October is known as Bilingual Child Month? There are millions of bilingual people in the United States and of these people, a large portion are children. Language and culture are closely connected, meaning bilingual children help to keep customs and traditions, as well as language alive for future generations. In this blog we will learn about Bilingual Child Month, how to become bilingual and how we can celebrate this special month.
Bilingual Child Month is a time to celebrate children who speak two (or more) languages. Maybe you were a bilingual child? Or perhaps your children are bilingual? Or maybe your future children will be?
Knowing more than one language helps people to relate better to others and be more empathetic to their needs. Being bilingual helps people to understand other cultures and customs, and it can improve a person’s career prospects or even their social lives.
Bilingual children are often the bridge between two cultures and can help migrant families to fit into their new home. Children who grow up with more than one language also tend to be more open-minded and accepting of others
It is very important to understand what the word bilingual means. If you look it up in the dictionary you will find a variety of definitions, each slightly different. The word bilingual originates from the Latin words ‘bi’, meaning ‘having two’, and ‘lingua’, meaning tongue. Literally, Bilingual means to have two tongues! In reality, to be bilingual is to be able to speak two languages equally and fluently… With just one tongue!
Although October celebrates bilingual children, bilingualism is not just for kids! There are also millions of bilingual adults. Even though many were raised bilingual, there are also a lot of people who successfully learn a second language and become bilingual later in life.
Becoming bilingual as an adult requires dedication, hard work and practice! The best way to do this, is to immerse yourself in the language. That means going to a place where the language you want to learn is spoken. For example, thousands of students attend English classes at Zoni every day. Not all students wish to be bilingual, but through our unique learning system and immersion in the United States many of our graduates become fluent.
It is estimated that there are 3.3 billion bilingual people in the world. This equates to around 43% of the world’s population. In the United States the most common bilingual language pairing is English and Spanish. The US is not the most bilingual country in the world though. With 200 million bilingual individuals, Indonesia is the most bilingual country!
There are many ways to celebrate bilingual child month. At home you can talk to your children about how special being bilingual is. Tell them about all the great things speaking more than one language gives them like international friends and study or career opportunities. Make sure you tell them how proud you are of them and their bilingualism. If your children speak better English than you do, why not ask them to help you with vocabulary. You can name things in both languages, play Scrabble, Hangman, Boggle, Scattergories or other word-focussed games.
If you are bilingual, make sure you take a moment to congratulate yourself and be proud of your amazing language skills. Why not get your bilingual friends together and have dinner or celebration? Their possibilities are endless!
Bilingual Child Month is a wonderful time to celebrate our clever children, friends, family and even ourselves. If you are still on your journey to becoming bilingual, don’t give up! We can help you perfect your English.
For more information about our courses visit our website www.zoni.edu. If you have any questions or would like to talk to us about which course is right for you, contact us via email at email@example.com or call +1 (212) 736-9000.
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