Answers to a bilingual parent

The answers to my previous post!

Trolled around the ‘net to give me nuggets of wisdom in raising bilingual children and found this website!

Bilingual Monkeys

The website has articles that actually is great for not just those who wants to speak bilingually but any parent who wants to foster more reading and writing into their kid!

Like the article about cloning yourself: It talks about how you can give your kid more exposure to the ‘minority’ language by putting up videos of yourself talking, reading and singing in the said language. I’m thinking of going back to full time in a couple of months, with the full knowledge that it will significantly cut down time with Zayan. Also when I am at home, I’ll be tired or recuperating from work.

So this idea of having him seeing me, even though through a screen, is brilliant! I mean, how often do we put on youtube videos or turn on TV to distract our kids? This time, I’m sure it’s something he will benefit from. Plus I can’t find (ok I haven’t made much effort to find) any good educational malay videos. Upin Ipin is fine, but they talk in malaysian slang and I just dont want him to get even more confused!

And how about this…writing notes to each other! Again, when Zayan is older and we’re both busy with work and may not see his parent at any one time, he can look at his ‘mailbox’ for any notes from us. Loving this idea!

Writing notes!

I realise that plenty of people in Brunei raise their child as bilingual, kinda necessary really as our education system in secondary schools require a fairly good grasp of English. (I know my teacher friends beg to differ in the ‘good grasp of English’ as they struggle daily with their students on their English.) So I think the website is fairly useful who interacts with anyone – not just a parent – speaking two languages.

The main point is this: consistency and adequate exposure. Apparently, about 25 hours per week of exposure in ‘minority language’ is the target to aim for and anything less than 20 hours means it may be difficult for the minority language to keep pace with the development of the majority language.

M has told me this morning that I have to make more efforts in talking malay (just malay) to zayan and it starts today!

So far, I can’t bring myself to say ‘BERHENTI!’ whenever he does something he shouldn’t – which is usually around every 5 minutes. Usually, I say STOP (instead of no) – for some reason, he responds well to STOP. And indeed stops himself in whatever mischievious shennanigans he brings himself into. Currently, as I am typing this, he has put his food bowl upside down and has just stopped his attempts in throwing food down the table (a stern stare with ‘Zayan mau mama marah??’ seemed to do the trick). Anyway, so I cant bring myself to say ‘BERHENTI!’, and has resorted to ‘Inda buleh, zayan!’.

Anyway must go. he has finished eating and now has climbed INTO his toy box in atttempt to get to the TV. GAHHH!

Love, me

PS lovely day today. Sunny and nice, so maybe park time?

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