Books on raising bilingual children

by David

Books on raising bilingual childrenAfter posting a couple of days ago about my daughter’s bilingual escapades, I thought I’d share some of the material I’ve read in my quest to learn about raising bilingual children.

I’ve been researching and looking for materials to help with raising our daughter bilingual in Spanish and English. If any of you are doing– or planning to do something similar, these books have helped us and they just might help you. Each book has the title, author and ISBN so you can easily find them or order them through your local bookstore. I’ve also put a link to buy them via Amazon, if you’re into that. Added benefit– you’re supporting Tomisimo if you buy them through the link to Amazon.

Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children
Author: Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa
Publisher/Year: Bergin & Garvey, 2000
ISBN-10: 0897897501
ISBN-13: 978-0897897501

This is an up-to-date book written by a English/Spanish bilingual teacher. A rich resource with methods for achieving the best results when trying to raise bilingual children, either through language learning or language acquisition.
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A Parents’ and Teachers’ Guide to Bilingualism 2nd Edition
Author: Colin Baker
Publisher/Year: Multilingual Matters, 2000
ISBN-10: 1853594555
ISBN-13: 978-1853594557

A very useful book. Formatted as a QandA, where people have sent in questions and the author answers them. Lots of practical questions and answers including the topic of language mixing and code switching where your child switches back and forth between languages, or mixes the two together.
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Encyclopedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education
Authors/Editors: Colin Baker and Sylvia Prys Jones
Publisher/Year: Multilingual Matters, 1998
ISBN-10: 1853593621
ISBN-13: 978-1853593628

This is a *huge* book, an encyclopedia in fact. It’s really expensive, but if you’re interested in the subject it’s literally a treasure trove of information. You might try to find it in a local university library in the linguistics section if you don’t want to fork over the moolah.
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The Bilingual Family
Authors: Edith Harding and Philip Riley
Publisher/Year: Cambridge University Press, 1986
ISBN-10: 0521311942
ISBN-13: 978-0521311946

This book is interesting because it has a number of case studies of families who raised children bilingually in an array of different languages. It’s sort of a “yes you can do it” by giving examples of other who have done it.
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Growing Up with Two Languages: A Practical Guide
Authors: Una Cunningham-Andersson and Staffan Andersson
Publisher/Year: Routledge, 1999
ISBN-10: 041521257X
ISBN-13: 978-0415212571

This is a personal account of a Swedish family with four children who grew up speaking English and Swedish, but includes some information from other families who have raised their children bilingually.
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One Child, Two Languages: A Guide for Preschool Educators of Children Learning English As a Second Language
Author: Patton O. Tabors
Publisher/Year: Brookes Publishing Company, 1997
ISBN-10: 155766272X
ISBN-13: 978-1557662729

While primarily targeted at educators in bilingual classrooms, it is an interesting read and offers many resources for parents who desire to raise bilingual children.
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Of course these are just a few of many, many great books on the subject, but they are a few I have read, looked at or own. I hope they help you as much as they’ve helped me.

2 Comments  leave one »

30.Jul.2008 - 5:17 pm

Thanks for the resources. I seem to remember coming across only a couple of these books while doing my own research for raising children to be bilingual.

My husband and I are not bilingual, but we are doing everything we can to make sure our children are. It’s a challenge trying to teach your child a language that you’re not fluent in, but it’s very possible to lay a solid foundation. And it’s fun learning Spanish as a family together.

01.Oct.2015 - 9:16 am

Yeah.. as I know, the only thing that children can get fatesr and better than adults is pronunciation according to critical period hypothesis (not sure I remember correctly thought).I really want to learn as many languages as I can!


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