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Raising Polyglots

1. I spoke to them in the target language from birth. When others around us must understand my conversation with them, I switch to English. Even though I live and homeschool in the US, I use Romanian as the language of instruction as much as I can. I repeat new concepts and vocabulary in both Romanian and English to make sure they get it.

2. I read to them in the target language at least 20 minutes a day. At first, I translated from English into Romanian. As the books got more complex, I switched to reading in English from English books, in French from French books and in Romanian from Romanian books.

3. We sing and listen to music in Romanian and French. While they play or eat, we turn it on in the background. They really like it. I point out some words if they are interested.

4. We Skype regularly in Romanian with my family or friends. I am connecting online with other multilingual moms and, hopefully, we will Skype in French soon.

5. I brush up on my own language skills by reading books, newspapers and blogs in French (or other languages). I listen to the news in French.

6. We listen to Radio France International, especially Le Journal en Fran├žais Facile for the children’s sake.

7. My children stumbled upon Fireman Sam in French and Robocar Poli in Korean on YouTube. They even found Postman Pat in Dutch. When a character is hanging on a cliff yelling HELP in another language, they get it. Caution: TV viewing harms small children’s brains. My children are three and almost six. We only allow them 30 minutes daily, if at all.