7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

 7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

Author: Naomi Steiner, MD
Pub Date: November 2008
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814400463
Page Count: 208
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814401767

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7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child

By Naomi Steiner, M.D. with Susan L. Hayes

Every parent knows that children acquire and develop language skills at an astonishing pace. First words become whole sentences and paragraphs in the blink of an eye. The most astounding thing of all is that the young brain is receptive to multiple languages at once, meaning there is no time like the present to get children started on a second language. Knowledge of additional languages not only enriches a child’s understanding of other people and cultures, it also lays the groundwork for future success, both academically and professionally, in our increasingly global society. But with so many opportunities and choices available, how do parents make the right decisions about bringing up bilingual children who are also well-adjusted, well-rounded, socially comfortable kids?

7 STEPS TO RAISING A BILINGUAL CHILD (AMACOM 2008) by developmental-behavioral pediatrician Naomi Steiner, M.D., with parenting writer Susan L. Hayes not only makes the case for raising children to be bilingual, but it also gives parents a step-by-step guide on what to do at home, in the community, and with their child’s school to give children the environments, experiences and tools they need to succeed as multiple language learners.

First dispelling some common myths about bilingual children (for example, “parents must be bilingual in order to raise a bilingual child”), the book goes on to help parents:

• identify and prioritize their bilingual goals

• understand and embrace their roles as language coaches—whether or not they themselves are bilingual

• create a bilingual action plan that makes the most of available resources

• conquer common obstacles, such as the child’s desire to speak only the language his peers speak

• nurture not just speech development, but also reading and writing skills, the cornerstones of true bilingualism

• make the most of available programs at school, and identify special circumstances such as giftedness, learning disabilities, and other factors that may influence academic progress

7 STEPS TO RAISING A BILINGUAL CHILD also offers three detailed examples of families raising bilingual children—each in their own way under very different circumstances—plus a large assortment of assessments, resources, charts, checklists, and other practical tools to help with the development and execution of a powerful, custom-tailored plan for bilingual success.

“Gracias, merci, vielen Dank to Dr. Steiner for providing parents with a guidebook on how to raise a multilingual child. It’s the right book at the right time by the right person.”

—Steven Parker, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine; Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center

About the Authors:

Naomi Steiner, M.D., is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who works with bilingual families at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She has been evaluating children in multiple languages for over 10 years, finding great success putting these seven steps into practice. She is fluent in four languages and is raising her own two children to be multilingual. Dr. Steiner lives in Boston. Susan L. Hayes is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Parent & Child, Parenting, Woman’s Day, and other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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