African Women Voices

7 things you should not say to a bilingual child

Food for your thoughts on children having double identities … Here is what you are not suppose to say!

multilingual families raising bilingual children

7 things you should not say to a bilingual child

Children can be sensitive about almost anything to do with themselves – be it their bodies, looks, family, friends, hobbies, the list is endless. Languages are no exception, so adults should be mindful when making comments or even asking questions to do with their languages.

1. “Where do you come from?”

This may sound like an innocent, everyday question you could ask anyone, but for bilingual (and/or bi-cultural) children the question can be hurtful and possibly hard to answer. Because, what you are actually saying is “You are not from here, are you?”, and the underlying statement is that the child is a foreigner in the country.

2. “Say something in [insert language]”

Never ask bilingual children to say something in a language just to prove they can. Language is about communication, not about showing off.

3. “You have hardly any accent when you speak [insert language]”


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One comment on “7 things you should not say to a bilingual child

  1. Pingback: 8 things to say to a bilingual « expatsincebirth

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This entry was posted on 3 May 2014 by in Women.

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