Teaching My Children To Be Bilingual


My mother tongue is urdu and ever since I was little my parents made it a point that we speak urdu the majority of the time around the house and around our immediate family. My dada dadi and nana nani made a point of speaking urdu infront of us so as children my cousins brother and I caught on pretty quickly. We could understand both english and urdu since we were learning english anyways through the TV and then later on in school and then urdu from our family. I noticed that a lot of children living out of Pakistan do not speak urdu fluently … they may understand but they dont speak it properly and it always worried me as a future parent because I wanted my kids to have this skill set so they could communicate when they would be living in and or visiting Pakistan. So I made sure when Zoe was born she heard both english and urdu. At first it was awkward because I’d say a sentence in english and then repeat it in urdu but then as she grew older and she was catching on she mashaAllah picked up on both ways and would respond to both sentences perfectly. Along with this while living in Pakistan I made sure my in laws were speaking urdu to her constantly and along w them the house help spoke it anyways so Zoe’s little ears soaked it up and she new words like BAS, AJA, and BAAR(Outside). It really made me proud as a mama because Im sure I was the same way at her age but props to my parents and family for teaching me our language in a country that wasn’t predominantly urdu speaking. I still standby this trick and make sure whenever Im talking to Zoe I repeat the sentence or phrase in both languages. She has not started talking yet but Im hoping and praying that when she does she talks in urdu as well as english because not only will it be oh so cute it will also help her understand her culture better and further make her want to visit Pakistan more often. What is your experience with teaching your child your mother tongue ?

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