The lives of many families involve contact with more than one language and culture on a daily basis. These children can potentially become proficient in both the languages around them, provided they receive enough input in both languages. Growing up with Two Languages is aimed at the many parents and professionals who feel uncertain about the best way to go about helping children to gain maximum benefit from the situation.
Every family's situation is different, but there is a good deal that parents can do to make life with two languages easier for their children. Families often establish an informal system for deciding who speaks what language in which situation. Consistency in sticking to the system will be helpful to the child, especially at the beginning. The "one person-one language" system, where each person speaks one of the languages (usually his/her native language) to the child and the "minority language at home" system, where the entire family speaks the language which is not spoken in the community at home are two of the most common systems.
There are, however, as many variations on these systems as there are families. There is no right or wrong way - here each family has to find its own system. Growing up with Two Languages is illustrated by glimpses of life from interviews with fifty families from all around the world. The trials and rewards of life with two languages and cultures are discussed in detail, and followed by practical advice on how to support the child's linguistic development.