When bilingual kids mix languages

Ana Flores, Author, Blogger & Entrepreneur, shares advice for parents on helping their bilingual child who is mixing languages learn to separate the two
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When bilingual kids mix languages

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One of the reasons we called our blog "Spanglish Baby," is because most kids are going to go through the stage of mixing languages. When they are first learning to speak, they've got these two languages that they are constantly hearing. They are still learning how to combine those words and make them each stick to whatever language it is supposed to go. It is a learning process. Once the children grow older, if they are still doing it, that's when parents need to be -- maybe not concerned, but motivated -- to find a way to give them more formal instruction in each language. Have them read more or participate more in academics in each language to make sure that they can speak those languages when they are supposed to. The actual mixing of two languages, the term is called "code switching." Code switching is really only able to be done by people who are completely bilingual. It's by being able to automatically go from one language to another seamlessly, almost without thinking about it. I can go from Spanish to English. That can only be done when you have a complete mastery of both languages. When children are making up words, that means that they don't have a complete mastery of both languages. That is when we can help them out.

Ana Flores, Author, Blogger & Entrepreneur, shares advice for parents on helping their bilingual child who is mixing languages learn to separate the two

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Ana L. Flores

Author, Blogger & Entrepreneur

Ana L. Flores is co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the award-winning blog and online community for parents raising bilingual and bicultural kids, as well as co-author of the book, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America. A bicultural and bilingual Latina born in Houston, Ana was raised in El Salvador and lives with her familia in Los Angeles.

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