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The one parent, one language method

The one parent, one language approach, is when parents decide that one parent will use one language to the child, while the other parent uses the other language with the child. For example, I use Italian with my child and husband uses English. The benefits of this method is the child, the baby, from the very beginning associates each parent with each language, and; therefore, is encouraged to use that language with that individual. When parents mix languages, that allows the child to respond with the language the he or she is most comfortable in. One important thing, is that it is not enough to just address children in one language; it is also important to enforce that the child respond in that language that you are expecting. This is crucial because, even if you use the one parent, one language approach, the child is allowed to respond in English; they might not become fluent in the other language.

See Simona Montanari, PhD's video on The one parent, one language method...


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Simona Montanari, PhD


Simona Montanari is Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on language development and second language acquisition in childhood. She received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California specializing in language development in monolingual and multilingual children. Dr. Montanari has published her research in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and she is regularly invited to present on early bilingualism and trilingualism locally and internationally. Dr. Montanari has also been involved in the creation and implementation of an Italian-English dual language program in the Glendale Unified School District, for which she continues to work as a consultant. Dr. Montanari has two trilingual and tri-literate daughters, six and seven years of age.

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