Becoming Bilingual… All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
Madonna’s doing it, Johnny Depp is doing it, and so is Antonio Banderas.
Each of these celebrities is raising their children bilingually. There are
mountains of evidence that strongly suggest lifelong benefits extending
from childhood bilingualism. In Raising a Bilingual Child: A Step-by-Step
Guide for Parents (April 15, 2008; $14.95), author and linguistics expert
Barbara Zurer Pearson, PhD, shows parents how to raise a bilingual child
and realize these crucial intellectual and cultural benefits, while
exploring the fascinating process by which children acquire language.
Raising a Bilingual Child is an easy to follow manual that provides solid
scientific arguments for raising a child bilingually, supplies parents with
practical steps to integrating two (or more) languages into their child’s
daily routine, and ultimately empowers parents to feel qualified and
confident about proactively establishing building blocks that can lead to a
lifetime of success for their children.
Raising a Bilingual Child dispels the myths about childhood bilingualism
and explains how it can enhance a child’s overall intellectual and
emotional development. It also highlights some of the various reasons why
both monolingual and bilingual parents choose to raise their children
*Utilitarian Reasons—bilinguals have an advantage in the job market. A
University of Miami study concluded that bilinguals earn more than
*Cultural Reasons—bilingualism can improve relationships with extended
family for their children. Language can give children special access to
artifacts, customs, and rituals that define their heritage.
*Adoption—monolingual parents want their children adopted from abroad to
identify with their heritage.
The book provides practical advice about creating the right home
environment to encourage and support bilingualism, including such
*How to keep it fun and encourage progression with consistent praise.
*Which daily activities should take place in the minority language
*How to find group activities for children to participate in that motivate
*How to organize the home for a child’s bilingual language development.
About the Author
Barbara Zurer Pearson, Ph.D., is a Research Associate in Linguistics and an
Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the
University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has over twenty years of research
experience in the fields of language acquisition and bilingualism and did
ground-breaking work on bilingual acquisition and assessment with her
research group at the University of Miami. Most recently, Dr. Pearson
worked on the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation (DELV), a project
to develop an innovative language assessment for children funded by the
National Institutes of Health.