Many parents want to make their children bilingual and want to study English from a young age. Also, when half-children are born by international marriage, both parents often want to make their children bilingual by speaking different languages. However, bilingual parenting can fail if you make a mistake. Here, I will talk about raising children who are prone to failure.
Parents may not be able to speak English
Pronunciation of parents may not be great
If a parent who cannot speak English tries to speak English with a child in daily conversation, the child will remember the pronunciation of the parent. Children’s ears are more sensitive than adults, and even if they are not in Japanese, they can be heard when they are children. However, for example, just because you want to teach English, if you teach a so-called Japanese English such as “Sankyu!”, The child will remember the pronunciation.
If you want to teach your children proper English, parents should be willing to learn English. First, parents who cannot speak English should not try to speak English with their children.
Speaking English isn’t any special
Because Japan is a country where you can live without using English, there are parents who praise their children with the nuance that “speaking English is a good thing” when they learn English. However, just because you can speak English is not great. If you go abroad, many people can speak English in addition to their native language. Rather, I they tend to speak English naturally. This is especially true for parents who do not speak English. Some parents praise kids too much just because they speak some words but this would enable them. Encouraging them is important but not praising them too much is also important.
Mixing the language of English and Japanese
It could make semi-lingual
Even if you are an English-speaking parent, if you mix Japanese and English and try to talk to your child, the two languages may be mixed in your child. As a result, both Japanese and English are not perfect and half-finished, and some children have no native language in the first place. This is called semi-lingual.
For example, parents should never mix English and Japanese and say “I bought an ‘ringo’ today”. The child will then remember this as a language.
One person, one language
If you want to make your child bilingual, each parent must speak in one language. For example, it is important that the father speaks Japanese but the mother speaks English, or the mother speaks Japanese but the father speaks English.
And it is only necessary to be thorough to children, and the conversation between the couple can be in Japanese. Also, for example, when a mother talks with a child in English, it is no problem that the mother talks with someone else in Japanese in front of the child. It is important to be thorough with your children.
Not teaching other cultures
Teaching only Japanese way isn’t good
Even if your parents are good at bilingual education, if you can’t teach foreign cultures in your family, your education may not work. Because English is not good enough to speak. You must be able to communicate in English. And because the human ego is created by the environment in which it was born and raised, English may not be able to speak well if it does not touch foreign cultures.
For example, in Japan, there is a bathtub in the bath. Many people get hot water every day. That’s why there is a saying “take a bath”. However, in English, the term “take a shower” is more common than “take a bath”. Because in many cases there are no bathtubs abroad, you just end up taking a shower. You may feel a small difference, but it is important to study English on a daily basis to teach these cultural differences.
Don’t consider all foreign cultures are better than those in Japan
Often, some Japanese have the idea that American culture can be anything, American culture should be accepted. In Japan, internationalization is also called Americanization, but there is no good way to accept American culture at home and to sneak down on Japanese culture.
If you teach foreign cultures in your family, it is better not to be unconditional just because you are an overseas culture, but also to teach the bad aspects of that culture. You do not need to teach American culture.
English and Japanese are equal
There is no denying that English is a competitive tool in Japan. For example, it is not uncommon for a person to compete with Official English exam (Eiken) level 3 or 2 (2 is higher).
However, just because you can speak English doesn’t make you great. Probably most people speak Japanese if they are Japanese. Similarly, if you go abroad, there are many people who speak English. English is a communication tool, not a proud tool.